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FunTimes Magazine

Michael A. Rashid

Michael A. Rashid has made it his life’s work to ensure those most in need have access to one of the most basic of human rights: health care. He was inspired to a lifetime of service by accompanying his father on his rounds on behalf of the Negro Health and Tuberculosis Association during his youth in Birmingham, Alabama. Later, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.called for many to march in the name of justice, Mr. Rashid answered the call, marching with Dr. King in the name of civil rights for African Americans and ultimately, all people.

A proven and savvy business leader, he has held numerous leadership positions of increasing responsibility over the years, including serving as executive vice president and chief operating officer for 15 years before becoming President and CEO of AmeriHealth Caritas, a national leader in Medicaid managed care and other health care solutions for those most in need, in January 2010.

Rashid’s entrepreneurial passion is blossoming through innovative ventures he has started in early child development and international health. As a member of the National Advisory Council on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) he continues to advocate for business solutions to the most pressing health problems in our society.

He holds a Master of Business Administration in finance from the Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science in marketing from the University of Southern California. He serves on numerous boards, including Drexel University and Harrisburg University. He lives in Ambler, Pa., with his wife and three children.

Name a discovery you made as a Black man:

The discovery of God as a real presence in my life was the best thing that happened to me as a man. I have seen extreme poverty, overt racism, and worst of all, the terrible effects of slavery on the minds of African Americans. At the same time, I have worked within the heights of American corporate power and influence. My faith in God has "kept me real" through all of that.

How do you push through your worst times?

For me it's all about faith in God.In Al-Islam, my religion, we believe that "bad times" are actually trials that, if we have the right attitude, will make us stronger. Like exercise strengthens muscles, trials make the spirit stronger. Our company had some rough times in the 90's, and again in 2002. As a leader, my faith kept me positive and strong.Because it came from my soul, people knew that I was true to my faith, and that I wasn't being a phony leader.

Describe a soul-restoring story about Black family life:

Mr. Rashid: I have so many stories about the love I received from my family! The one that stands out in my mind is about my wife Medina, and how she stood by me through some very dark hours.We all have our ups and downs, and a loving wife, husband, mother or father who stands by you and encourages you can make all the difference in the world! There is no way that I would have accomplished what I have without my loving wife, Medina Rashid.