Karen Kelley Piacentini
Former Healthcare Executive – UnitedHealthcare/Optum, Board Advisor, Board Member
Karen Kelley Piacentini

Karen is a dynamic, results-driven health care executive with 30 years of health plan management experience.  Her experience includes senior management P&L positions leading medical and specialty care network strategy, development, contracting and provider service; clinical and staff model operations; government programs and product development. 

As a Senior Vice President at Optum, Karen ensured that Optum and UHC aligned goals and strategies and strengthened the $50 Billion relationship between Optum and all UHC segments, driving growth and optimizing the performance of the enterprise. As the strategic partner with UHC Employer & Individual segment, she was part of the UHC E&I Executive leadership, representing Optum, and drove more than $200 Million in incremental savings and $50 Million in revenue, annually. 

Prior to transitioning to Optum, Karen led UHC Product Strategy for all Employer segments and drove an innovation pipeline of over 45 new products annually.  While at UHC Karen created and led the Network Solutions team focused on data driven development and execution of provider network strategy for National Accounts resulting in improved network competitiveness; innovative solutions including physician designations based on quality and efficiency; growth and retention of over 9 million lives.

As an executive leader at UHG, Karen played a critical role in the development of UHG’s culture and the reinforcement of its values and was a Culture Facilitator. 

Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group, Karen held executive positions with Cigna, Columbia University and Prudential.

Since leaving UHG in 2018, Karen is an Advisor to healthcare technology companies including Bright Therapeutics, Inc. where she is instrumental in the rollout of their platform through payers. Prior to its recapitalization in 2020, Karen was a Board Member of Rethink Autism, Inc. which puts clinical best practice treatment solutions for children with development disabilities such as autism in the hands of parents, clinicians, and educators.  Karen has also served on the Board of Directors for Partnership with Children, a non-profit organization that provides early intervention, preventive services and counseling to at-risk children and youth in New York City.

A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Scripps College in Claremont, California, Karen received her MBA from the Marshall School, USC and an Executive Leadership Certificate from Wharton.