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Katy Mahraj

Managing Director of Operations, The Promise 

“I believe in the power of innovation to help us move our ideas into action and work together to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. At United Way, the power of innovation is the power to change lives for the better.”

Katy serves as Managing Director of Operations for The Promise, leading operational and administrative functions for the United Way’s newest initiative.  The Promise is a public-private partnership of United Way, private philanthropy, the private sector, the City of Philadelphia, and high-performing community organizations to reduce Philadelphia’s poverty rate and support an equitable economic recovery from the pandemic. Katy works closely with the UWGPSNJ team to translate our vision for The Promise into action that moves the needle on poverty in Philadelphia and the region.

Prior to joining The Promise, Katy served as Director of Operations for the Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation and Penn Medicine’s first Director of Innovation for Women’s Health. At Penn Medicine, she designed, developed, and scaled new health care services that dramatically improved outcomes, quality, cost, and experience. Her proudest achievement was serving as the innovation management lead for Heart Safe Motherhood, an evidence-based program to improve the health outcomes and experience of postpartum women with hypertension, which eliminated the observed racial disparities in postpartum hypertension blood pressure ascertainment.

Katy holds a Master of Science in Information from the University of Michigan and bachelor’s degree summa cum laude in women, gender, and sexuality studies from Harvard University. Katy has authored numerous articles and presentations on innovation, design, and technology and received several national and regional innovation awards.

Thought Leadership

  • 2021 New England Journal of Medicine CatalystDeveloping a Large-Scale Covid-19 Surveillance System to Reopen Campuses 
  • 2021 HealthcareUsing Design and Innovation Principles to Reduce Avoidable Emergency Department Visits Among Employees of a Large Academic Medical Center 
  • 2019 New England Journal of Medicine CatalystHeart Safe Motherhood: Applying Innovation Methodology for Improved Maternal Outcomes

Awards & Certifications   

  • 2018 American Hospital Association: National Innovation Challenge  
  • 2018 Vizient: Clinical Innovation Award 
  • 2016 American Heart Association: Philadelphia Heart Science Forum Innovation Challenge