Man Thanks Blue Cross Nurse who was "a Guardian Angel"

Angela Hernandez

| 3 min read

A man smiling while on a walk outside. Gary Laskowski Spartan Nash
It was just another work day for Gary Laskowski, until he felt a shooting pain radiate down his arm. He knew right away something was very wrong. Laskowski works as an account manager for SpartanNash, the sixth largest food distributor in the United States. In his nearly 20 years with the company, he'd never imagined experiencing a health problem at work, let alone a heart attack. Thankfully, those who were with him at work that day acted swiftly and got him to a hospital to get the emergency care he needed. But it wasn't until after he'd left the hospital that things started taking a toll. Surviving a health crisis gave Laskowski a new outlook on life, but the road ahead was not easy. Thankfully, SpartanNash's employee benefits package included a unique program with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan called "Your Dedicated Nurse." Through this program, Laskowski had direct access to a team of health care professionals who helped him better understand his condition, medications and treatment options, as well as coordinate his follow-up visits with doctors and specialists. "I think Gary at first was wondering why a nurse from his health insurance was calling him," said Liane Schall, a nurse case manager with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Schall's support helped keep Laskowski motivated and accountable to his doctors' care plan, which included making some lifestyle changes to improve his health. She also helped him overcome some unexpected challenges with his mental health. "There were some really difficult days," Laskowski said. "But my nurse Liane was always there to help. She gave me a 24-hour number I could call for support." Studies show that symptoms of depression are about three times more common in patients after an acute heart attack than in the general population. And after he had gotten back on his feet, there was one thing Laskowski felt was missing - Schall's calls. "I've got to be honest with you, I missed her after she stopped. I was used to those phone calls. It was a good thing," he said. Laskowski says he now tells his colleagues that if anything ever happens to their own health, to take advantage of the Your Dedicated Nurse Program. "I don't know where I'd be at today if I hadn't taken advantage of it." Watch the video below to hear more about Laskowski's story and the Your Dedicated Nurse Program from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
SpartanNash is committed to taking care of the people who take care of their business, through a competitive Total Rewards benefits package for associates. SpartanNash’s Total Rewards package includes a variety of emotional, financial, social and physical offerings, such as the BCBSM Your Dedicated Nurse care management program. For more information visit If you enjoyed this story, you might be interested in:
MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association