Compiled by Matt Loeschman
PHOENIX — Terros Health, an Arizona integrated health care company for more than 50 years, is looking to the future following a planned leadership transition.
After a comprehensive succession planning process, Terros Health’s board of directors has promoted Dr. Karen Hoffman Tepper, the company’s chief operations officer for the past eight years, to president and CEO.
Tepper will assume her new position on May 6, 2022, from Peggy Chase, who will retire after leading Terros Health to local and national prominence during her 23-year tenure with the company.
“Terros Health is a vital resource, especially with a growing number of people seeking primary care and mental health services,” said Calvin Cole, chairman of the company’s board. “We will be losing one of our most valued assets in Peggy Chase, and we are fortunate to have in Karen Tepper a visionary leader with a proven track record of driving positive outcomes for our patients and our communities.”
Tepper, 47, brings a deep understanding of health care systems and more than 20 years of experience to her new role. She led Terros Health’s work in becoming a Federally Qualified Health Center, securing millions of dollars to ensure the provision of primary care and behavioral health services to underserved populations regardless of their ability to pay.
Tepper also helped launch, with the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department (MCAPD) and Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS), a first-in-the-nation program to integrate justice services which improved access to care for individuals on probation.
And last fall, Tepper spearheaded efforts to help Terros Health win one of 100 federal grants to adopt a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic model of care. The model emphasizes recovery, wellness, trauma-informed care and physical and behavioral health integration for children, veterans and other special populations.
“Beyond her operational strengths, Karen has a heart for people and she knows how to develop strong leaders,” Chase said. “She has been instrumental in building Terros Health’s unique culture and embraces our core values of Integrity, Compassion and Empowerment with Diversity woven throughout.”
Before joining Terros Health, Tepper served as CEO of Acumen Fiscal Agent, one of the nation’s largest fiscal agents serving self-directed individuals and their families in more than two dozen states.
She earned a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College along with master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Arizona.
“I am honored by the board’s decision and passionate about Terros Health, our employees, the people we serve and the work we do,” Tepper said. “I look forward to carrying on the company’s legacy of delivering exceptional and compassionate care.”
Chase, 65, joined Terros Health as chief operating officer and chief financial officer in 1999 and was promoted to the company’s top executive in 2011. Under her leadership, Terros Health rose from a small group of behavioral health centers to an $86 million integrated health care company, with 870 employees and progressive treatment programs that touch more than 50,000 lives each year.
The company offers services in 11 health and counseling centers in Maricopa County and Tucson with four of these as Federally Qualified Health Centers serving our most vulnerable communities.
Terros Health also operates mobile crisis services in four Arizona regions — Maricopa, Coconino, West Yavapai, and Mohave counties.
Chase expanded the company’s size and scope of services amid sweeping changes that required health care providers to think and do things differently. She has been lauded for bringing a groundbreaking, innovative whole person integrated model of care to Arizonans.
Chase has also been at the forefront of local and national health behavior and health issues impacting public policy to benefit those in need.