SAN FRANCISCO (March 14, 2019) – Blue Shield of California is ramping up its efforts to transform health care, launching a new company that will provide advanced technology and services to independent physicians as well as enhanced medical services to Californians. Through this new company and other partnerships, Blue Shield will work to provide doctors the latest technology and services to improve care and drive down costs.
“There is an urgent need to change the healthcare system, which is too expensive and creates a significant burden on American families,” Paul Markovich, chief executive of Blue Shield of California, said. “It is also contributing to serious physician burnout and fatigue. We need to help physicians change how they practice medicine and engage patients. Instead of spending time entering data into a computer, doctors should be able to use the latest technology and spend more time doing what they do best: Connecting with patients and providing personalized care.”
Markovich said there will be more updates about the focus of the new company in the weeks and months ahead. Meanwhile, the company announced a number of management changes to help align senior talent with the company’s transformative agenda:
- Jeff Bailet, M.D., Blue Shield’s executive vice president of health care quality and affordability, has been appointed to be the new entity’s president and CEO.
- Ruth Hendrickson, a Blue Shield vice president of Human Resources, has been named Chief Human Resources Officer and head of Internal Communications to lead the new entity’s people strategy.
“Dr. Bailet and Ruth both have demonstrated expertise and success in transforming health care by building teams, getting results and continuously learning,” Markovich explained. “This initiative creates big opportunities, and we need to create a great team to make this happen.”
Markovich also announced additional executive appointments at Blue Shield:
- Terry Gilliland, M.D., Blue Shield’s senior vice president and Chief Health Officer, has been named to replace Dr. Bailet as executive vice president of health care quality and affordability reporting to Markovich;
Peter Long, president and CEO of the Blue Shield of California Foundation, will move to Blue Shield of California to become senior vice president of Healthcare and Community Health Transformation. Long replaces Elizabeth Mitchell, who is leaving the company to pursue other business interests. A search is underway to identify a new leader for the Foundation; and
- Karen Xie becomes Blue Shield of California’s new Chief Technology Officer and a search will be launched for a new Chief Information Officer. Both roles will report to Michael Mathias, currently Blue Shield of California’s executive vice president of customer experience and Chief Information Officer.
“I am very pleased with the high-quality group of women and men on the company’s senior leadership team,” Markovich said.
“I want to thank Peter Long for his service as the leader of our Foundation. Peter has a tremendous record of advocating for Californians who need it most, and he’s helped make large strides in reducing domestic violence. His personal connections and contributions to strengthening our communities make him a natural fit for his new role with Blue Shield,” he continued.
“I also want to thank Elizabeth Mitchell for helping us rethink and imagine the future of health and wellbeing. I look forward to partnering with her in her next endeavor, as the work she’ll be doing directly supports our health care model of the future.”