September 14, 2018 (Women’s Lifestyle) – Cherry Health is a non-profit medical center that provides health services to vulnerable populations who face significant barriers in accessing health care. There are more than 20 Cherry Health centers in seven counties in Michigan, employing more than 900 employees. The headquarters, located off Cherry Street near LaGrave Avenue in Grand Rapids, is where CEO Tasha Blackmon oversees it all.
“I feel like I have a responsibility to the community where I grew up,” Blackmon said. “To make sure that the services provided here are of the highest quality that we can possibly provide, and that people leave healthier once they receive our services.”
Blackmon worked her way up the ladder after holding six positions in 13 years at Cherry Health before becoming CEO. Her experience allows her an invaluable understanding of what each position entails and how to best lead the organization.
“People feel like you understand their struggle, you’ve walked alongside them on some level, so you can be a great support to them,” she expressed.
In her position, Blackmon is on a mission to make sure everyone at Cherry Health is supported, including patients and her staff.
“Staff are your most valuable resource,” Blackmon said. “They’re doing the hard work. And if you tell them how much you value and appreciate what they do, they’re going to take care of the patients.”
In her first 90 days as CEO, Blackmon visited every single Cherry Health center across the state and personally talked to each and every employee (there are 947). When she first announced her intentions to the board, they were in shock, but she felt it was essential.