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Healthcare executive takes helm of finance team


Citizen Advocates is proud to announce the addition of an innovative healthcare executive to serve as the organization’s new Chief Financial Strategy Officer.

Karen Lee was most recently the Chief Executive Officer for Adirondacks ACO in Plattsburgh.  The organization works with healthcare providers, like Citizen Advocates, and insurers, who have a shared goal of improving healthcare outcomes while managing and taking financial responsibility for the quality and total cost of care. 

Karen Lee

“Karen is a proven leader with a track record of strengthening healthcare delivery systems with a sharp focus on enhancing the patient experience, managing costs and improving outcomes,” said James Button, CEO of Citizen Advocates. “As we all know, healthcare is an ever-changing industry and the addition of Karen to our Executive Leadership Team strengthens our ability to best meet the healthcare needs of those we support and the community.”

Prior to her time in the North Country, Ms. Lee worked in the Pacific Northwest where she held several executive-level leadership positions with employed and independent physicians, physician/hospital organizations, independent practice associations, accountable care organizations and health insurance plans.

“The decision to join Citizen Advocates has given me the opportunity to not only deepen my experience with an established healthcare provider, but also to focus on building up services that are a vital safety net for the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Ms. Lee, Chief Financial Strategy Officer. “Because when we talk about truly improving the health of a community and managing the cost of care, the conversation has to include reliable access to high-quality mental health, addiction and disability services.”

As the Chief Financial Strategy Officer, Ms. Lee’s primary oversight is for the sound fiscal stewardship of Citizen Advocates.  Her duties include budget development, managing health insurance provider contracts, and responsibility for the financial management and compliance over 100 agency programs. 

The position is also one that must be forward looking, and Ms. Lee will be actively seeking out opportunities for expanded revenue streams, innovative programs, and managing the expenses that are often created as a direct result of a highly-regulated healthcare environment.

In her free time, she enjoys the beauty of the Adirondacks and Vermont and hiking on weekends with her husband, their daughter, and the family poodle, BarkLee.