Katherine Gottlieb, MBA, serves as President and CEO of Southcentral Foundation (SCF) and is honored for her management of innovations that have built SCF into a customer-owned, quality organization working together with Alaska Native people to achieve wellness for the entire community. Starting her SCF career in 1987 as an administrative assistant, Katherine gained more and more responsibility, ultimately resulting in her becoming the President and CEO in 1991. Under her direction and guidance, SCF has become a leader among the nation's healthcare organizations, winning national recognition for innovations such as the same-day access to care. SCF’s unique and creative programs draw upon the Alaska Native culture to address healthcare challenges such as substance abuse, women's health issues, and family wellness.
Katherine, a 2004 McArthur Genius Award winner, is the daughter of an Aleut mother and a Filipino father; the mother of six children; and the grandmother of 23 grandchildren. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, a master’s in business administration, and an honorary doctorate from Alaska Pacific University. She serves on numerous boards, including the Alaska Native Heritage Center and remains active at the national level in Native American policy issues.
“When we were able to assume our own management, we had a lot of freedom to move and design. And we had our own motivation—improving day-to-day health for ourselves, our families, and our people. We are a self determining people. Success is possible if that self determination is applied to the health threats facing many communities.”
“If one really believes that the core product is relationships – that is, partnering to make a difference over time – a fundamental change to a practice or organization is required. Where money and time is spent, what work staff does, who is hired and how staff are trained. – Every change is intentionally designed to optimize relationships. In short, it changes everything.”