Blue Cross welcomes business leaders to make a difference in their communities
“Is Michigan prepared to compete nationally?”
That’s one of the central questions being asked of leaders gathering for the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2018 Mackinac Policy Conference.
As the CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, our state’s largest health plan serving nearly 5.4 million members across the nation, I can say without a doubt that our state is poised more than ever to be a national competitor — drawing top talent, spurring job creation and revving up economic development.
Already, Michigan – and our cities — have seen much progress in the last decade. And while we realize there’s much more to do, our leaders are more energized than ever to support the economic vitality of the region together, starting with our communities and neighborhoods.
Collectively, we realize it’s in everyone’s best interest to collaborate to lift our cities, our region and the state. Recent evidence of the power of collaboration – and there are many — was seen in our swift, synergistic, international effort to draw Amazon here through our campaign, “Detroit. Move Here. Move the World.” Although Amazon made different choices, we achieved significant success – a partnership that serves as a blueprint for economic teamwork that would broadly benefit our region and its communities.
Already, our area’s leaders are working together on other comprehensive economic development initiatives, including pushing for a much-needed regional mass transit system, which will further enable economic recovery and help our residents get to work and other places they need to go.
Blue Cross has collaborated in these efforts, and we are proud to have a long history of supporting our community’s vitality. As part of our long-standing social mission, we believe it’s our responsibility to lead efforts to improve the health and wellness of our communities. We know that residents thrive in communities that are healthy and vibrant, and we are committed to doing our part – and partnering with others.
We’re proud to have been one of the first companies to help kickstart Detroit’s resurgence when we united our workforce in Detroit in 2011, making us one of the largest employers in the central business district. We also helped fund new EMS vehicles and police patrol cars, helping to improve safety and emergency services in neighborhoods throughout the city.
We are also strong partners with organizations aligned with our mission to improve communities. Annually, we support many community-based health fairs and other events, through partnerships with
the NAACP, Detroit Public Schools Community District and the North End Youth Improvement Council. And we partner with the faith-based community, in metro-Detroit and Grand Rapids to engage church members in physical activity challenges with a focus on encouraging healthy lifestyle habits.
Blue Cross has paid $355 million to the Michigan Health Endowment Fund to improve the health of seniors and children. Statewide, through our Building Healthy Communities program, we’ve reached more than 270,000 students in more than 600 schools by providing students, teachers and administrators with resources to improve student health and create healthier schools.
As leaders, we see the power of collaboration. Now more than ever, we have an opportunity – and responsibility – to strengthen our communities and neighborhoods so we can truly have the foundation to compete nationally.
The time is now. By working together, we can “move the world.”