Neidorffs, Centene Establish Deanship at the Brown School

The first Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean is Mary McKernan McKay

Michael Neidorff assumed the CEO position of Centene 20 years ago and moved the company from Milwaukee to St. Louis. In 1996, Centene, a managed-care provider, ended the year with 40,000 members. Today Centene is a Fortune 500 company, a diversified, multinational health-care enterprise with more than 11 million members in 28 states. Mr. Neidorff and his wife, Noémi, are leading patrons of cultural and educational institutions in St. Louis and beyond.

“We are profoundly grateful to Michael and Noémi Neidorff and Centene for their leadership and commitment to advancing human health and improving the quality of life for people here and across the nation,” says Washington University Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton. “Their generosity has had extraordinary impact at the university and benefits the entire St. Louis community.”

In 2014, Mr. and Mrs. Neidorff established the Neidorff Family and Robert C. Packman Professorship at the School of Medicine, held by William Hawkins, MD, chief of the Section of Hepatobilary-Pancreatic and Gastrointestinal Surgery. The professorship is named in honor of Robert Packman, MD, a senior vice president of medical affairs for Centene who previously served as a professor of clinical medicine at the medical school for more than 35 years.

Mr. Neidorff also has served on the national council of the Brown School. Last year, Centene Corporation became a partner in the Envolve Center for Health Behavior Change, an industry-academic collaboration among the Brown School, Centene, and Duke University. The center, based in St. Louis, implements behavioral and public health research to improve the health of vulnerable populations.

Most recently, Mr. and Mrs. Neidorff and the Centene Charitable Foundation have made a $5 million commitment to endow the Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Deanship at the Brown School. The Centene Charitable Foundation supports the health-care mission of Centene Corporation through initiatives that improve the quality of life and health in local communities. It focuses on providing resources for nonprofit organizations helping families, especially children in need.

The first Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean is Mary McKay, a distinguished academic leader and scholar in social work and public health. Her research focuses on meeting the mental health and prevention needs of youth and families in urban communities affected by poverty. Dean McKay joined Washington University in July 2016 from the Silver School of Social Work at New York University, where she was the McSilver Professor of Poverty Studies and director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research.

“It is a great honor to be named the first Neidorff Family and Centene Corporation Dean at the Brown School,” Dean McKay says. “I am deeply grateful for this permanent source of support for the Brown School’s most significant priorities. The generosity of the Neidorff family and Centene will enable us to continue making great strides in translating discoveries into actions that benefit people both locally and around the globe.”

Michael Neidorff says, “Noémi and I believe in investing in the people of our community—here in St. Louis and nationwide. Washington University is a world leader in education, research, and patient care, and we are proud to be a small part of it.”