Healing Our Society Means Addressing Injustice and Solving Disparities Between Communities

Daniel J. Loepp

| 3 min read

Daniel J. Loepp is President and Chief Executive Officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Mr. Loepp has directed sweeping initiatives and innovations that have led to a historic transformation of BCBSM and health care in Michigan. He played a major role in modernizing the state’s health care delivery system in a process that led to enactment of new laws that transformed BCBSM to become a nonprofit mutual insurance company in January 2014. Mr. Loepp has led BCBSM initiatives to improve health care quality and slow cost increases, saving nearly $1.5 billion through several programs that have garnered national attention and served as models implemented across the country. Under his leadership, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is helping to revitalize and strengthen Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing. In 2011 and 2012, Blue Cross moved 3,000 BCBSM employees into downtown Detroit and the company is one of the largest employers in the city’s Central Business District. In Lansing, BCBSM subsidiary AF Group transformed a long abandoned power plant into a national headquarters. Mr. Loepp has stood by a commitment that BCBSM should be a driving force for good in Michigan’s core cities. It is reflected in BCBSM’s workforce diversity and inclusion efforts, supplier partnerships and community initiatives. In his tenure, BCBSM has been named Corporation of the Year in Finance and Insurance Services nine times by the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council. The company has also been named one of America’s Top Organizations for Multi-Cultural Business Opportunities by DiversityBusiness.com and ranked five consecutive years as one of the top 10 Regional Companies for diversity by DiversityInc magazine, including being ranked No. 1 for consecutive years in 2015 and 2016. Mr. Loepp was honored as a 2016 recipient of the Edward N. McNamara Goodfellow of the Year Award. He was selected as Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News in 2013. Mr. Loepp joined Blue Cross in 2000. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, he served as board chair of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), an organization that includes all 36 Blue Cross plans and provides health coverage to more than 106 million Americans.

Diverse hands raised together
As we continue the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, we are living amid other challenges of great measure. The pandemic has made clear the painful inequities that exist within our society – with COVID-19 fatalities within African American communities in Michigan disproportionately higher. While we wrestle with the tremendous struggles of the health of our loved ones and our communities, we must also address the systemic racial inequalities that continue to plague the United States. The killing of Mr. George Floyd by an officer of the Minneapolis Police Department, captured on video, is a horrific case. It has understandably evoked the raw passion and reaction from those who have experienced and witnessed intolerance and racism and are frustrated and voicing their anger at the lack of change and perceived unwillingness of our society to change. And we must change. And now more than ever is the time to unite. A key tenet of our company’s culture is our commitment to diversity and inclusion in every aspect of our organization. It has long been a part of our deeper commitment to change. Our vision is for our company to be inclusive of the differences that exist among us – and to better serve our members and communities by bringing different perspectives to our work. Our mission is to provide quality, affordable health care to everyone. But our commitment goes beyond that – we are invested in building places where everyone feels safe and respected. And it starts here within our own Blue Cross employee community. To move forward, we must commit to driving continued change through respect, tolerance and gaining diverse perspectives to better comprehend the different experiences of others. Each of us must become a voice for change. I am especially pleased that Blue Cross is actively working with the state to identify and resolve health care and other inequities that unfairly impair communities of color across our state. We also continue the work directly in our communities and neighborhoods to breakdown racial and social barriers and build up health communities. I urge each of you to be safe as you choose to exercise your right to peacefully express your views on this evolving national tragedy. The right to peaceful assembly is the cornerstone of our democracy; affording us the opportunity to supply a united voice expressing the continued need for change in these incredibly difficult and trying times. Our commitment to diversity and inclusion now is stronger than ever. I’m asking each of you to join me in the effort to address the inequities that afflict our nation and know that Blue Cross is doing the same. Photo credit: PeopleImages

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Mickey Knight

Jun 3, 2020 at 4:30am

Very inspiring. Big Blue has been at the forefront in seeking change and equality for all for a long time and your convictions Dan Loepp come shining through.

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