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OWIB alumnae updates: Between stints at Fallon, Ritter supported the nonprofit community

Photo | Courtesy of Fallon Health Alumnae updates: Mary Ritter, Class of 2012

“Lifetimes ago” is how Mary Ritter described her winning WBJ’s Outstanding Women in Business award, in 2012 when she was leading a division of Fallon Health called Fallon Total Care. In that decade since winning, she has helped countless local nonprofits through the company she founded, and ultimately returned to Fallon to oversee a new direction for the Worcester health insurance firm.

At the start of 2015, Ritter left Fallon after an 11-year stint there, a significant portion of which she spent as president of Fallon Total Care, providing integrated healthcare services for people on Medicare and Medicaid. After that departure, she founded her own consulting business, Maywood Consulting, which offered business strategy support for mission-based organizations in the arts, education, health, and human services sectors.

“I was really excited because it was an opportunity for me to make a difference at organizations that I think don't typically have the resources to spend time and energy on the things that I love to do [like] strategic planning and corporate governance,” Ritter said.

Along with providing her an opportunity to step away from the career grind and make her own schedule, consulting was deeply fulfilling for Ritter, as she contributed to local nonprofits she felt were making an important difference in the Central Massachusetts community. She helped ArtsWorcester build a strategic plan and facilitated a merger between Whitinsville-based Alternatives Unlimited and Worcester-based The Bridge of Central Massachusetts to create what is now known as Open Sky Community Services.

In 2018, however, Fallon President and CEO Richard Burke asked Ritter to return, and she couldn’t say no: “I went back because Fallon is Fallon,” she said. “It has a really special culture.”

She spent a year as senior vice president of strategy and business development before becoming chief strategy and government programs officer, where she leads Fallon’s services for communities relying on government programs like MassHealth and Medicare.

“I felt like I was able to maintain some of that community work that I did in my own consulting practice, but on a larger scale,” she said.

She has been instrumental in setting a new direction for Fallon with a focus on expanding the insurer’s impact to reach vulnerable populations across the state. The program is unique to Fallon, which is the the only insurer in Massachusetts with a designated focus on government programs, she said. Now less focused on corporate office responsibilities and more on determining product offerings, she helps determine what benefits Fallon offers, how products are priced, and how to optimize outreach to diverse communities.

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