Modeling good citizenship for her daughters through community service
Laura Miller serves as senior associate counsel and vice president of government programs and provider contracting for UPMC Health Plan. Originally from Greensburg, she now lives in Point Breeze with her husband and their two daughters.
Tell us about your job.
I’ve been with UPMC Health Plan for over 13 years. I advise on provider networks and handle provider contracts, as well as any issues relating to managing those networks, such as quality or credentialing. I also oversee the administration of our government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, as well as our children’s health insurance program (CHIP) and behavioral health managed care program.
How did you become interested in your career path?
I’ve always been interested in the clinical and health arenas, and then in college I found that law was a good fit for me as well. When I found the health-law program at the University of Pittsburgh, it was the perfect marriage of the two areas. It had all of the health portions that I’d been wanting to do but I was able to apply my interest in health care in a business environment as opposed to the clinical environment. So, I enrolled in Pitt Law and went on to get my MBA at Katz.
What do you love about your job?
The interesting thing about my role is working with our clinical counterparts to find products, services, and solutions that work for both sides of the house. I like the communication, problem-solving, and collaboration that’s necessary to achieve that. I also love the people I work with at UPMC. When I started UPMC Health Plan was still relatively small, with maybe 1,000 employees. Now there are 6,000 employees. It’s been a great place to learn and the subject matter is ever-changing, so every day is exciting. I love being part of such a great environment.
What do you love about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh has everything you’d expect in a big city, even though it’s mid-size. We have every type of museum, the Pittsburgh Zoo, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens — there’s nothing we don’t have when you look at other city experiences. I have two girls, ages 8 and 6, and we take great advantage of everything the city has to offer.
What are some things you and your family like to do?
We’re huge fans of going to the pool in the summer and we just generally enjoy being outside. My girls are all about the city parks and playgrounds; it’s their absolute favorite way to spend time.
How did you get involved in United Way?
UPMC has a huge United Way campaign. I learned about the United Way and the Women’s Leadership Council by getting involved in the company campaign. Then I was invited to join Bridges Society Committee as Bridges was taking off here in Pittsburgh and I’m now one of the co-chairs of the Bridges Committee. I’ve also co-chaired a FitUnited RFP committee, which was very special, and I’m also a member of the Good Neighbor Volunteer Committee. The variety of United Way involvements has been very rewarding and has given me great insight into the value of the organization to the Pittsburgh community.
Why is community involvement important to you?
I think it’s just part of what we should do as good citizens, but it’s also important to me because, as the parent of two daughters, I’m trying to raise good citizens. I want to be a good role model for them. Not just tell them what to do, but show them what to do. United Way has some events that you can bring your children to, which I’ve done. Over time they’ll gain a deeper appreciation for why these opportunities to volunteer and give back are so important.
Do you have a favorite United Way memory?
I was a presenter at United Way’s Good Neighbor Awards, which is a United Way event that honors organizations and individuals who are doing good in their community through volunteer activities. It was humbling to see how both organizations and individuals are making a difference. It was wonderful to be reminded of all the good works that are being done right here in our community every day.