Blue Cross Names New Leaders; Some Vacancies Remain

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has hired or promoted seven new leaders, but it is still in the process of selecting a new chief financial officer and chief medical officer.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota on Tuesday announced a series of new leadership appointments, including two C-level executives-but the company has not yet filled a couple of vacancies left by recently departed leaders.

James Eppel has been named chief operating officer. Eppel previously served as the company's senior vice president of health management and commercial markets. He joined Blue Cross in 2007 after occupying senior leadership positions at Minneapolis-based Allina Hospitals & Clinics, Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth Group, and Medica, which is also based in Minnetonka.

James Egan, meanwhile, was named chief information officer. Egan has served as CEO for several organizations, including Outcomes Health Information Solutions, Cardinal Health, and Ingenix, which is now part of UnitedHealth Group's Optum business.

The other individuals recently appointed to the company's leadership team are:

  • Colleen Connors: senior vice president of human resources, communications, community relations, and facilities.
  • Patsy Riley: senior vice president of government programs, government affairs, and public policy
  • Garrett Black: senior vice president of health management
  • Rochelle Myers: vice president of strategic planning and portfolio management
  • Dave Spalding: senior vice president of business development

The following three top executives left the Eagan-based insurer last month: Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Pamela Sedmak, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Gregory Gilmet, and Kathleen Mock, senior vice president of marketing and public and health affairs.

Their departures came about a month after Kenneth Burdick took the helm as the organization's CEO.

Blue Cross spokesman Jim McManus told Twin Cities Business in a Wednesday e-mail that the company has “a selection process underway” for the vacant CFO and CMO positions.

The responsibilities previously held by Mock have been split between two others: Oversight of the organization's public policy and government affairs has been assumed by Riley, while communications is now overseen by Connors, McManus said.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has more than $9 billion in annual revenue, making it the largest insurer that sells health plans within the state.