Abenaa Abboa-Offei

Senior Vice President, Customer and Community Connections
Affinity Health Plan,
New York City

Abenaa Abboa-Offei has proven to be just what the doctor ordered for the state of New York.

?I see my role as teacher, advocate and activist,? explains Abboa-Offei, senior vice president of customer and community connections at Affinity Health Plan, a New York-based, managed-care nonprofit serving low-income residents.

She oversees corporate communications, marketing, recertification, training, field-support services, community relations and customer service.

Abboa-Offei joined the organization in 1996 and since then has helped to move it to the fifth largest health plan in the Greater New York area. ?Simply going to work to collect a paycheck is a wasted opportunity. Leaders make their jobs count for the benefit of others,? she says.

An outspoken champion for affordable health care, Abboa-Offei pushes for legislation to meet and protect the needs of the uninsured.

She has created and directs the company?s scholarship program, which has awarded $300,000 in college scholarships to more than 130 high-school students from low-income families; and developed a reading program that collaborates with local public elementary schools to construct reading corners for student, parent and community use.

A Syracuse University graduate with a bachelor?s in journalism, Abboa-Offei previously headed her own Abenaa Abboa-Offei Public Relations Inc., served as public affairs director for First Baptist Community Development Corp., and managed advertising and publicity for the American Broadcasting Co. radio networks.

She was also the administrator for the FBCDC?s private charter school for expelled youth. ?Being able to help children reach milestones in their lives is the greatest success one can experience,? says Abboa-Offei.

Abboa-Offei?s first children?s book ? promoting acceptance in order to prevent discrimination ? will be published this year.

Away from work but never far from a mission, she gives her time to an array of civic and charitable organizations, including the New York City Mission Society, New York Coalition of 100 Black Women and YouthBridge-NY.