President and Chief Executive Officer, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
Years in current role: Appointed CEO in May 2021; President and CEO-elect since July 2020.
What was your biggest success in 2021?
I am proud of how our employees helped our organization successfully manage and deliver on our mission. The ability to continue to provide access to quality, affordable health care to our community is a credit to our corporate culture. This past year provided an opportunity to redefine the way we work by engaging our flexible workforce through new communications channels. We found innovative ways to keep our employees connected through virtual “live” coffee chats, employee meetings, lunch and learns, and even talent shows! I am extremely proud of how our team came together to advance and improve our culture throughout this challenging time.
What are your expectations for 2022?
I expect that 2022 will be another year of uncertainly as we continue to respond to the pandemic. One thing I am certain of is that although the pandemic has forever changed how we live and work, we will remain committed to offering new and innovative products and services to address the changing needs of our communities.
What is your biggest takeaway from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?
My biggest take away is the resiliency of humankind. The amount of change that our upstate regions have navigated through in such a short period of time is a testament to our collective strength and fortitude. When forced by a global health crisis, we stepped up to meet new challenges overnight — and didn’t miss a beat. Rochester is a resilient community.
What is your favorite thing about the Rochester community?
By far, the people and the philanthropic nature of Rochester stands out. There’s a unique willingness to give time, resources and financial support to organizations and initiatives that advance the well-being of our community. In addition, I appreciate the exceptional quality of health care, physicians, and scope of services we have access to in our backyard. The collaborative nature of our health systems and nonprofit payer market allows us to align health care access, affordability, and quality.
If time were no issue, what would you do to help the community that you aren’t already doing?
I’d like to spend more time supporting our educational systems in recognition of the vital role they play in the development of our young people. Our children are our most precious resource, and we need to work together to help them grow and thrive because they are our future.