When we consider Michigan’s future and where our state is headed, we have so much to celebrate: a growing economy, job expansion and recognition as a top state for business. Now, it’s time to talk about the path to propel our state higher. As leaders gather for the annual Mackinac Policy Conference, conversations will be centered on the importance of working together as One Michigan to build a successful, high-performing state that competes nationally for business and talent, serves all of our citizens, and lifts all of our communities. The path to success starts with partnership, and businesses must play a key part in Michigan’s growth. They help strengthen cities, drive economic development, recruit top talent and invest in the future. Michigan offers opportunities like nowhere else, starting with our history of innovation that has evolved to modern mobility and driverless cars, our strength in research and development, manufacturing and our emerging technologies through water and energy. By continuing to work together, we can amplify these assets for One Michigan. We’re proud of our partnerships over the past 80 years that have contributed to Blue Cross being a force for positive change. Working with our partners, we’ve made Michigan a leader in quality of care, we’ve improved patient health and safety and provided greater access to affordable health care. Today, Blue Cross is a diversified Michigan company with a national footprint, proudly helping to drive Michigan’s economy and support the communities where we live, work and play. We provide coverage in every Michigan zip code, and we are invested in local communities from Marquette to Monroe. But we don’t do this work alone. As we celebrate our 80th year, Blue Cross is honoring our many partners who work with us to create a healthier and more vibrant Michigan for everyone. Our partnerships with hospitals and physicians have helped improve patient care and health outcomes like lowering hospital readmissions and reducing infection rates. This important work has not only improved quality but also saved more than $2.2 billion in health care expenses over the past decade. And it’s making Michigan a leader in health care quality replicated by others across the nation and world. Our partners include our customers, with whom we’re collaborating to better meet the needs of their employees, to improve their health and well-being. We’ve also teamed up with community organizations, nonprofits, foundations and employers like the Penske Corporation to provide funding, support and data to combat the deadly opioid epidemic facing Michigan and our nation. And through partnerships with organizations like the Alzheimer’s Association, the Michigan Parkinson Foundation and the Kirk Gibson Foundation, we’ve increased awareness and support for those devastating diseases. Our collaboration with residents and communities have helped support our core cities, including Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and beyond. Through collaborations with schools and educators, we’re proud to be part of the fight against obesity. And thanks to partnerships with more than 50 clinics across Michigan, we’re supporting free or low-cost medical, dental and mental health care for the uninsured. And because affordability is a concern for everyone, we are leading the evolution of health care delivery away from volume toward value. That means continuing to work with providers to ensure payment is based on their success in managing the overall health of their patients and delivering quality outcomes. It takes everyone working together to create a healthier One Michigan, and we are grateful for the people and organizations that have worked with us over eight decades. I’m pleased that our business and community leaders are also committed to working together -- as One Michigan -- to drive the future success for all of our state. Photo credit: csterken
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