Live from Blue Cross, It’s WJR
Detroit radio personality Paul W. Smith broadcast his morning show on 760 AM WJR from the mezzanine Thursday, Nov. 14 at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Detroit Tower building.
The live show celebrated Blue Cross’ 80th anniversary as a company, and featured interviews with President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp, along with three organizations that have partnered with Blue Cross to make Michigan a healthier place.
Smith credited Blue Cross for not resting on its laurels after being in business for 80 years.
Loepp said the business is consistently working on issues that are important to members and customers, including working with hospital and physician partners to address rising costs and ensure better health outcomes for patients.
The Thursday Paul W. Smith Show also included an interview with Paul Hillegonds, CEO of the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. Blue Cross is the sole patron of the Health Fund and is committed to paying out $1.56 billion over the course of 18 years. The Health Fund is an independent, nonprofit philanthropic foundation that works to improve the health and wellness of vulnerable Michigan residents.
The show also included an interview with Macomb County District Court Judge Linda Davis, executive director of Families Against Narcotics. Davis was instrumental in starting the group after her daughter admitted to a heroin addiction. The group has since become a distinguished network for support, resources and education around addiction and substance abuse.
Later in the program Dr. Danielle Daniels, principal of Kennedy Elementary School in Livonia, spoke about the ongoing benefits of a Blue Cross Building Healthy Communities grant for her students and staff.
The grant program connected Daniels and her staff with ongoing support to start and keep their plans to increase activity and promote healthy eating. Those programs are still in place, including a mileage club where students earn charms for necklaces for walking at recess, and an after-school running club.
Because of its wide scope of influence, Blue Cross programs make a difference in the lives of all Michigan residents — whether they are a subscriber or not, Loepp said.
“When you cover half the people in the state of Michigan, you have a responsibility to make things better,” Loepp said.
He referenced numerous community investments, including $5 million Blue Cross committed for improvements to the East Warren/Cadieux neighborhood, as well as the #MIKidsCan Turkey Day VIP sweepstakes, a writing competition that children can enter to win a ride on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan float in the America’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, plus an exclusive Detroit Lions game day experience with their family.
“It’s just the fiber of who we are,” Loepp said.
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Photo credit: Helen Carlisle