2023 Annual Report: Evolving to Meet the Needs of the Communities We Serve

Blues Perspectives

| 5 min read

We know the pursuit of health and well-being extends beyond medical interventions—it encompasses social, economic and environmental factors that shape our daily lives. As a leader in whole-person health care, we have long recognized the interconnectedness of these factors in advancing health equity for all Michiganders.
We have evolved our approach over the years to develop new programs, implement training and forge relationships with various stakeholders to meet these diverse and complex needs. Our company’s commitment to fostering a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace culture enables us to best understand, represent and advocate for all those we serve in Michigan and beyond.

Advancing a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace

At the center of this evolution lies a steadfast commitment to fostering an inclusive and diverse workplace culture. In 2023, we continued to advance comprehensive diversity training programs and leadership development initiatives as well as learning opportunities that connect our workforce and foster better understanding of one another and those we serve. In 2023:
  • 91% of new employees completed cultural competency learning sessions.
  • 90% of leaders completed unconscious bias education.
  • 120 learning sessions were held with more than 29,000 employees attending.
  • Blue Cross received 100 out of 100 points for the seventh consecutive year on the Disability Equality Index
  • Six out of six measures were meet and exceeded through the National Organization on Disability’s employment tracker.
  • Blue Cross received the Elite Award for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at the 2023 West Michigan Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® celebration.
  • 32% of employees participated in Employee Resource Networks
By embracing diversity as a source of strength and resilience, Blue Cross not only enriched our organizational culture but also enhanced our ability to deliver culturally competent services to our diverse member base. We recognize that diversity fuels innovation and enhances the quality of the services we deliver. Our workforce reflects the rich tapestry of Michigan's communities, and we continue to advance efforts to recruit and retain a diverse workforce.
In addition to our standard recruitment strategies, Blue Cross strengthened our efforts to deepen the talent pipeline with historically Black colleges and universities, predominantly Black professional fraternities and sororities, and our partnerships with the Association of Latino Professionals for America, National Migrant Scholars and Grow Detroit’s Young Talent. We are making purposeful efforts to reach talent that is traditionally underrepresented in the workplace. Additionally, Blue Cross nurtured existing relationships and established new partnerships with organizations to establish a diverse pipeline of early career talent for in-demand information technology roles. Our 2023 workforce reflected these commitments and efforts.

Acting Responsibly Toward Our Communities

Our continued evolution in 2023 was not confined to the walls of our diverse enterprise—it extended into the communities we serve across Michigan. Blue Cross continued efforts to address underlying systemic barriers to care and promote health equity for all Michiganders through strategic partnerships, targeted investments and community engagement initiatives. We furthered our ongoing commitment to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, of which we are the sole patron, with a $100 million payment. We also made 480 corporate contributions, totaling nearly $4 million in donations, to nonprofits across Michigan.

Investing in Neighborhoods and Communities

Blue Cross and Blue Care Network sponsored the first annual East Warren festival and also contributed to a redevelopment project, The Ribbon, which will transform the property of a former bank in East English Village to a mixed-use, affordable housing and retail space as part of our ongoing commitment to the Detroit Neighborhood Initiative.
Along with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, we provided Brilliant Detroit a $30,000 grant focused on improving health in four neighborhoods on Detroit’s East Side. The Building Healthy Neighborhoods grants support neighborhood-level access to physical activity and healthy food to help drive positive changes in the health of children and families in Detroit’s Morningside, Chandler Park, Island view and Osborn neighborhoods.

Helping Teachers and Schools

Our groundbreaking Building Health Communities program marked its 15th year in 2023. Over a half-million students have benefited from sustainable physical and emotional health components put in place at their local schools. This year, 148 K-12 Michigan schools, teaching 62,334 students, were selected to participate.

Funding research and innovative community programs

In 2023, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation contributed $2.6 million to 79 initiatives aimed at providing innovative solutions to improve health outcomes for everyone in our state.
Blue Cross also partnered with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation to award $250,000 to five of Michigan's Regional Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaboratives and their member organizations the second set of Advancing Maternal Health Equity grants.

Providing a health care safety net

We recognize that, despite our best efforts and national reforms, health insurance isn’t always accessible to everyone. This is one of the reasons that Blue Cross is the largest private funder of Michigan’s network of safety net community clinics. In 2023, we awarded 50 Strengthening the Safety Net grants to clinics located in 24 Michigan counties to serve as health care homes and support patients potentially impacted by changes in Medicaid eligibility resulting from the end of the national Covid-19 public health emergency. These clinics are expected to serve more than 64,000 patients, and they anticipate more than 186,000 patient visits.
Our social mission team also hosted its 13th annual Healthy Safety Net Symposium in Lansing, Michigan. The gathering offered an opportunity for more than 200 safety net health care leaders and advocates to build partnerships and capacity to increase access to high quality care, improve the overall health and well-being of safety net patients, and address racial, rural, and other disparities.

Engaging our workforce

The employee volunteer program was re-instated after a three-year hiatus due to COVID-19 restrictions. 77 unique, statewide volunteer opportunities with a variety of partner organizations were offered.
By embracing inclusion, diversity, and our commitment to building a healthier future for all as core principles, we are not only transforming our enterprise but also shaping a future where health is more equitable for all.
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association