AmeriHealth Caritas Family of Companies, a national leader in health care for the most vulnerable, has appointed Bowie resident Jay Powell as its new executive director of Medicare plans in the District of Columbia.

A graduate of the University of Maryland and Central Michigan University, Powell has worked in health care for almost two decades.

“During his nearly 20 years in health care, Powell’s leadership, vision and ability to build relationships with key decision makers in the government and provider arenas has helped build healthier communities across the country,” said John Baackes, president of AmeriHealth Caritas VIP Plans, and Powell’ immediate supervisor. “These qualities will similarly benefit our new Medicare members in the District.”

In his time at AmeriHealth, Powell has served as director of market expansion and development, where he was responsible for promoting the company’s products and services to state and local governments, and other public health care program stakeholders. In 2013, he served an integral role in the expansion of AmeriHealth’s Medicaid business into D.C.

On May 1, AmeriHealth Caritas established AmeriHealth District of Columbia, a Medicaid managed care organization that currently serves more than 100,000 in D.C.

Powell also played a key role in the company’s penetration of the Medicare market in the District and Louisiana. The company is currently enrolling members and estimates that there are approximately 84,000 people eligible for its Medicare with drug prescription coverage plan and 17,000 who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

“The District’s Medicaid recipients are already seeing the benefits of AmeriHealth Caritas’ model of care, and now its Medicare beneficiaries will be able to do the same,” Powell said in a statement. “I look forward to working with all of the district’s health care stakeholders to ensure that AmeriHealth VIP Select and AmeriHealth VIP Care meet the health care needs of Washingtonians.”

Prior to joining AmeriHealth Caritas, Powell held marketing, business development, public health and provider relations leadership roles with Kool Smiles (which aims to make quality dental care more accessible to people most in need), UnitedHealth Group, John Snow Inc., Mercy Medical Center of Baltimore and Prudential HealthCare.

He currently sits on the board of directors of Baltimore-based People Encouraging People, is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is a past treasurer of the National Association of Health Services Executives’ Baltimore chapter.