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Blue Shield of California announces Health Care Quality and Affordability executives

SAN FRANCISCO (September 13, 2017) --- Blue Shield of California has appointed two Health Care Quality and Affordability executives to help position the nonprofit health plan for future growth and advance its mission of ensuring all Califonians have access to quality, affordable health care.

Mimi Kokoska, M.D., has joined Blue Shield as senior vice president of Health Care Quality and Affordability (HCQA) Strategic Partnerships and Innovation. She will be responsible for leading the nonprofit health plan’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO) strategy, strengthening partnerships with physicians, clinicians and other stakeholders, and driving innovation across HCQA.

Kokoska has more than 20 years of health care experience; most recently as senior vice president and chief medical officer, hospital based specialties at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee, Wis. In this role, she provided strategic direction, implemented innovative approaches and facilitated communications to deliver exceptional clinical and service quality and outcomes.

Kokoska earned her Master in Health Care Management from the Harvard School of Public Health and her Doctor of Medicine from the University of Southern California. She has held clinical and academic leadership roles at Indiana University School of Medicine and Veterans Health Administration.

“I look forward to joining a dedicated team of health care professionals at Blue Shield and using my experience to continue strengthening the health plan’s relationships with providers and improving quality and affordability of care for our members,” Kokoska said.

Hugo Florez has been promoted to vice president of Provider Network Management, Care1st and Specialty Networks. He will lead Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), professional and specialty networks as well as the Care1st contracting and provider relations teams. Care1st is a provider-founded managed care company based in Los Angeles County that was acquired by Blue Shield in 2015.

Florez was previously senior director of PPO Physician and Specialty Networks, where he was responsible for the management and performance of PPO physicians, medical groups, ancillary and specialty networks.

“I look forward to leading our network management team and working with Care1st to deliver on our mission to provide Californians access to quality care that’s sustainably affordable,” Florez said.

“I’m thrilled to announce these executive appointments to our leadership team,” said Jeffrey Bailet, M.D., Blue Shield of California’s executive vice president of Health Care Quality and Affordability. “Mimi and Hugo have experience building strong performing teams and developing trusting relationships with our external partners. Together, they will help improve access, quality and affordability of care.”

Contact: Clinton McGue, 415-229-5359,

Background on Blue Shield of California
Blue Shield of California, an independent member of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health plan with 4 million members, 6,800 employees and more than $17 billion in annual revenue. Founded in 1939 and headquartered in San Francisco, Blue Shield of California and its affiliates provide health, dental, vision, Medicaid and Medicare health care service plans in California. The company’s mission is to ensure all Californians have access to high-quality care at an affordable price. Blue Shield has contributed more than $450 million over the past since 2002 to the Blue Shield of California Foundation. Contact your local agent or broker about Blue Shield of California products and services, or visit