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Bonus Episode: It’s Family First for David Morales

The David Morales story is the story of the Morales family.

That resonates in no place greater than his recent autobiography, American Familia. In it, Morales digs into his Puerto Rican heritage—not only as a way to emphasize the legacy of his family’s journey to America but to also inspire others within the Latino community to tell their own stories.

A devout student of all things Puerto Rico, Morales has been steadfast in his dedication to the island. He shows it through his keen interest in its musical history as well as the many ways in which he incorporates a “family first” culture into the teams he leads at Unicare.

It’s that kind of culture that has resulted in personal and professional success for Morales—and he wants to see his family grow larger.

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About Our Guest

David Morales currently serves as general manager of UniCare, a health benefits company located in Woburn, Massachusetts. In this role, he oversees management of UniCare’s commercial and Medicare plans offered to members insured through the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission (GIC). He is also responsible for collaborating with healthcare providers, elected officials, regulators, labor unions, and other key stakeholders to drive improvements in healthcare access, quality, affordability, member experience, and health outcomes for UniCare members who work and reside across several states, including Massachusetts and New England.

Prior to joining UniCare, Morales founded his own advisory practice, which specialized in management consulting, strategy, and regulatory innovation. Before that, he served as chief strategy officer for Steward Health Care System, where he led strategy, acquisitions, and payment innovation. Morales also served as CEO of Steward’s captive insurance company, and founded and led Steward’s Business Solutions team, which evaluated and led hospital acquisitions, physician recruitment, and EMS growth and innovation.

Prior to joining the private sector, Morales held several public service roles, including Massachusetts Commissioner of Health Care Finance and Policy, and prior to that, as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Deval Patrick, managing cabinet affairs and public policy. He also served as a senior adviser to Senate President Robert E. Travaglini and as an adviser to Speaker of the House of Representatives Thomas M. Finneran. During his time as an adviser, he was one of the principal authors of the Massachusetts healthcare reform law (Chapter 58 of 2006) and the healthcare cost and transparency law (Chapter 305 of 2008).

In addition to his extensive healthcare experience in both the provider and health plan segments, Morales has expertise in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He implemented and operated the first prescription drug insurance model in the U.S. – Prescription Advantage under Governor Jane Swift – which served as the incubator for Medicare Part D, and was the co-author of the legislation which launched the Massachusetts Life Sciences initiative.

A graduate of Bowdoin College, Morales is also a best-selling author (www.davidamorales.com) and a renowned researcher and lecturer in traditional music from Puerto Rico. He is very active in his community, serving on several boards, including Ahora Inc., Cristo Rey High School in Boston, the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, Massachusetts Health Quality Partners (MHQP), Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Bethany Congregational Church, North Shore Chamber of Commerce and the Lynn Classical High School Board of Directors. Morales lives in Lynnfield, Mass. with his wife and their two children.