80 Years of Partnering to be a Force for Positive Change
by Daniel J. Loepp
| 3 min read
When I think about the impact Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan makes on the lives of the people we serve, I often think of Gerald. Gerald is a member who didn’t see his doctor often and relied on visiting the Emergency Room for his care. He struggled with his weight, had trouble managing a heart condition and had other unhealthy behaviors and as a result had several stays in the hospital. Gerald’s life changed when a Community Care Management Team from Blue Cross Complete reached out to help him achieve his goals. They scheduled physician appointments, provided access to housing options, and connected him with community mental health and nutritional services. And after just 8 months of working with his team, Gerald adopted new, healthy behaviors that greatly improved his well-being. Gerald told our team they changed his life, and that sticks with me. Over the last 8 decades, Blue Cross Blue Shield has increased access to quality, affordable health care, improved patient health and safety and raised the quality of care for millions of members and customers, like Gerald. From our beginning, when we were founded by doctors and hospitals to provide families with affordable, prepaid insurance plans for medical care, Blue Cross has made it our mission to be a trusted partner to our members. And as we celebrate our 80th year, I’m proud that we’re continuing to improve the health of the 5.4 million people we serve with programs that bring more value; and more affordable options for medication and services to lower the overall costs of care. Blue Cross is proud to be a Force for Positive Change, but we know we could not do it alone. Our partnerships with doctors and hospitals have improved patient care; our work with legislators helped to expand Medicaid so more people have access; and our collaboration with community organizations and causes increase awareness for devastating diseases like Parkinson’s and its impacts on families and caregivers. Through partnerships with schools and programs like Building Healthy Communities, we’re fighting obesity. To date, we’ve reached more than 340,000 students in nearly 800 schools. Through our support of clinics across the state, we’re ensuring access for Michigan’s uninsured and underinsured across the state. Blue Cross is proud to be the largest private donor to free clinics in Michigan. And by working with our communities and engaging residents, we are supporting our neighborhoods through inclusive community investment, including a $5 million commitment to Detroit neighborhoods. To celebrate our 80th year, we will express our gratitude for the people and organizations that have helped us to make Michigan a healthier and more vibrant state, like the Capuchin Soup Kitchen, the Kirk Gibson Foundation, Michigan Parkinson Foundation, The Parade Company and so many others. As part of our “MI Blue 80” campaign, we’ll also be thanking our many partners and allies who supported Blue Cross’ mission to improve the health and well-being of all Michiganders, like Judge Linda Davis, who co-founded Families Against Narcotics and has worked with us and others to combat the deadly opioid epidemic. We’ll also spotlight the many people and organizations who have invested in community health and made their communities stronger, like the Urban League of Detroit and Southeastern Michigan and Downtown Detroit Partnership. And we’ll highlight many ways our employees and teams are making a difference for our members and our state to improve customer experience and make our company and region stronger. In our 80th year, we want to say thank you to all of our partners for allowing us to work with you for the betterment of our state. Together, we will continue to create a healthier Michigan and be a Force for Positive Change for our members, customers and communities for decades to come. Learn more about how we’re celebrating 80 years at MIBluesPerspectives.com/MIBlue80.