CEO Daniel J. Loepp: Diversity and inclusion make our business stronger

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 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.

a team of diverse hands makes a star formation
At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we’re proud to be a trusted partner to nearly 5.4 million lives across the nation. With a service area that spans from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to Motown, and from California to Maine, we provide valuable assistance to members with a wide array of backgrounds, experiences and needs. Serving a diverse membership has been a key part of our social mission for nearly 80 years -- we believe in offering quality, affordable care and access to everyone. At Blue Cross, diversity is an imperative and one of our key beliefs. To best serve all of our members, we make it a part of our company’s mission to embrace diversity and foster inclusion throughout our company. I recently had the opportunity to talk about this topic, one that I’m passionate about, during a gathering of the BCBSM chapter of the National Management Association, where the theme was “Diversifying the Image of Leadership.” Diversity of our employees and senior management team ensures we reflect and serve every member and reflect our communities. Diversity of thought provides innovation and perspective. Diversity of suppliers helps us to support the places in which we live, work and play. As a business leader, I know a diverse and inclusive environment strengthens our business performance. Personally, I’m passionate about our initiatives to share different perspectives and celebrate the differences of our employees so each of us can better serve our members through formal employee diversity and inclusion programs and initiatives to enhance supplier diversity. But diversity isn’t just important to our business, it’s how we run our business. Our management team is diverse. More than 50% are female at the level of manager and above; Nearly 30 percent of our board is female. Every department has diversity and inclusion goals for which they are accountable. New employees are required to complete a comprehensive cultural competency training. We provide leader training on inclusive leadership and unconscious bias to deepen leadership awareness and understanding. We’ve purposefully developed several common interest groups for employees, known here as our Employee Resource Networks. These ERNs are centered on professional development, networking and celebrating diversity across our organization of nearly 10,000 employees. Additionally, we are proud to offer hundreds of opportunities for employees to participate in events to expand their awareness of differences and similarities in cultures and communities. In 2017, more than 5,000 employees attended a learning session. We also track and measure our progress, hold ourselves accountable and back up our commitment to diversity and inclusion with resources. In the last 5 years alone, we spent $1.2 billion through our supplier diversity program, working with a diverse supplier group, including Minority and Women-Owned Businesses, and we celebrate our suppliers annually at a recognition event. The investment in supplier diversity programs directly supports economic growth in our communities. And we are proud of the recognitions we have received. Forbes recently included BCBSM on its first-ever list of America’s Best Employers for Diversity. The list is a ranking of 250 employers across all industries in the United States. And though awards are great reinforcement, the rewards of diversity and inclusion are why we support these policies. Simply stated, diversity and inclusion – and supplier diversity – are good for business and make our business stronger. Through diverse thoughts and ideas, we better serve our members. Our diverse partnerships help us create better products and services. Working together, we make our diverse communities stronger and our residents healthier. We have a saying at Blue Cross, and it rings true here: Together, we thrive. Daniel J. Loepp is President and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, which serves nearly 5.4 million members in all 50 states. Photo credit: Flickr

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M.Usman Choudhry

Jul 12, 2018 at 12:42pm

We as a company truly do promote Diversity n Inclusion. As a religious n ethnic minority (Muslim/Middle Eastern) I have to say, , the number of events/educational seminars that our Diversity n Inclusion Team supports through out the year are so valuable. As Dan said ' Together, we thrive.'

Blues Perspectives

Jul 11, 2018 at 9:34pm

Thanks, Mariah! We're proud to have you!

Mariah Manuel

Jul 11, 2018 at 11:40am

This article makes me proud to be a part of Blue Cross!

MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association