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October 18, 2021 POWER 25 HEALTHCARE

2021 Power 25 Health Care: Karen Lynch

Karen Lynch was a longtime senior executive at Hartford health insurer Aetna, rising to the president position following the company’s $69-billion merger with Rhode Island-based CVS Health in late 2018.

But it didn’t take long for her to impress her new corporate parent company. Earlier this year Lynch took over as CVS Health’s new CEO and president, replacing Larry J. Merlo, who retired.

Karen Lynch

Lynch will continue to be a major player in determining Aetna’s future presence in Connecticut. CVS has pledged to keep Aetna’s headquarters in Hartford for at least 10 years and maintain 5,291 employees here for at least four years. What happens after that is anyone’s guess.

Lynch took over CVS as it was playing a key role in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, setting up testing sites and participating in the vaccine distribution.

During her tenure at Aetna she put a spotlight on mental health care, and that focus has carried over to her new job.

In August CVS Health announced it was expanding a pilot program that offers counseling services in its stores in a few select cities, including Houston, Philadelphia and Tampa, Fla.

During her career, Lynch has received numerous accolades, including being named to Fortune’s list of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business, and one of the Top 25 Women in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare in 2017.

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