Senior Corporate Media Relations Specialist, AmeriHealth Caritas

Derrick Stokes is a Senior Corporate Media Relations Specialist for AmeriHealth Caritas, a Medicaid managed care organization in Philadelphia. Derrick is responsible for developing and implementing media relations strategies and messaging to enhance the profile of AmeriHealth Caritas brands with target audiences in mainstream and trade media.

Prior to working in healthcare, Derrick spent more than 15 years working in the transportation industry, working to ensure the efficient movement of goods and people through various modes – planes, trains and automobiles. 

While working for the Philadelphia International Airport from 2015 to 2018, Derrick used his writing and analytical skills and transportation planning experience to help the airport prepare for the impact of the historic Papal visit and the Democratic National Convention in 2016. 

The following year, Derrick was tasked with developing and implementing a comprehensive internal communications plan to effectively engage more than 800 airport employees using various communications strategies including the creation of a new employee newsletter and intranet.

In every step in his career, Derrick has been called to develop strategic communications plans. 

When he served as the Deputy Executive Director of the Transportation Management Association of Chester County (TMACC), located in a western suburb of Philadelphia, from 2010 to 2013, Derrick managed six federal and state grant programs that provided annual revenues of more than $1.3 million, which helped expand TMACC’s role as leading transportation advocates.

Derrick spent the decade of the 1990s working as a journalist for the Harrisburg Patriot-News, the Indianapolis Star and the Hartford Courant – all daily publications, breaking numerous Page 1 stories, most notably the rape trial of former boxing champion Mike Tyson.

In 1997, he co-founded the Observer Publishing Company, Inc. and created a biweekly community newspaper, The Observer, for which he was recognized by the Hartford (Conn.) Business Journal as one of the top 40 businessmen under the age of 40 in 1998.

Derrick made the transition into public relations full-time in 2000 and joined the United States Tennis Association, where he developed and managed public relations programs for a three-state area (PA, NJ, and DE). 

Tapped to join New Jersey’s “Fix DMV” reform team in 2002, Derrick developed and implemented the public relations strategy that facilitated the passage of legislation that resulted in additional revenue to pay for improvements to customer service and security. Derrick’s work was essential in helping the newly-formed New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission promote its new license issuance process and new digital driver licenses.

Derrick is a proud graduate of Penn State University, where he majored in Communications.