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Susan M. Johnson: 816-395-3566
Kansas City, MO. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (BCBSKC) Chief Executive Officer, Tom Bowser, today announced his plans to retire at year-end 2010. Concurrently, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Board of Directors is pleased to announce the promotion of David Gentile, who most recently served as BCBSKC Executive Vice President, to the position of President and CEO-elect. Mr. Gentile has been with the company since 1991.
“We are grateful for Tom’s unparalleled regional and national leadership during four decades of significant change in the health care industry,” said Board Chair Jan Kreamer. “Our Board is pleased that this transition plan allows David the benefit of working closely with Tom over an extended period of time, ensuring a seamless transition and an orderly transfer of leadership for our associates and valued stakeholders.”
CEO Tom Bowser Retirement
“The retirement date of December 2010 coincides with the conclusion of my duties as Chairman of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, as well as my 65th birthday,” Bowser explained. “These changes also allow me to transfer significant elements of our operation to David as I take more of an active role in the health care reform issues unfolding in Washington, D.C.,” said Bowser.
Bowser began his career with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City in 1969 and has served as the company’s President and Chief Executive Officer since 2001. He was elected Chairman of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association in November of 2008, a position he holds concurrently with that of President and CEO of BCBSKC.
He has held numerous positions at the local and national level of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield System. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association serves over 100 million Americans through 39 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans with annual revenues in excess of $300 billion.
CEO-Elect David Gentile Appointment
“Our Board recognizes the significant role our company plays in this community as we serve nearly one million members and manage physician and hospital pay-outs in excess of $2 billion per year,” explained Board Chair Kreamer. “Accordingly, we are pleased that our CEO succession process led us to an internal candidate who is already well known throughout our community. David has all the skills necessary to continue this company’s outstanding track record of service to our community upon Tom’s retirement.”
“David’s leadership has enabled our company to achieve service levels for members, physicians and hospitals that rank among the best in the entire Blue Cross and Blue Shield System,” said Bowser. “The service platform he created has helped our company set all-time records in sales, retention, and customer satisfaction. David’s very capable professional style and comfort in managing technology will serve our company well in navigating a challenging future.”
“It has been a sincere privilege to play a role in the growth of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City under Tom’s remarkable leadership,” Gentile said. “Our organization is well-positioned to meet our industry’s challenges. I am confident that by working closely with Tom throughout the next year and a half, we will be able to facilitate a smooth transition while maintaining our present momentum.”
Prior to joining BCBSKC, Gentile held numerous executive positions at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association for nearly ten years and at Michael Reese Health Plan in Chicago. At BCBSKC, he has served as the Chief Operating Officer of the company’s integrated joint venture with area physicians and hospitals. Other responsibilities have included claims, customer service, information technology, government programs and subsidiaries.
Gentile has been active in numerous civic and sports organizations including the Mid-America Coalition on Health Care; Ronald McDonald House; Junior Achievement of Middle America; Third and Long Foundation; the USA Volleyball Association; and the US Olympics Committee on Volleyball.
Gentile and his wife Linda of 32 years have two adult children.
BCBSKC Subsidiary Leadership
In related news about executive team leadership, Executive Vice President John W. “Jack” Kennedy has been named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BCBSKC subsidiaries New Directions Behavioral Health, Preferred Health Professionals and Premier WorkComp. New Directions serves over one million customers nationwide with chemical dependency and employee assistance programs. Preferred Health Professionals and Premier WorkComp provide physician and hospital networks to third party claims administrators, Taft Hartley trust funds, and other health care financing organizations.
Jack’s duties will also include new business development and alliances with other Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans as the company prepares for expected health care reform changes. Further announcements on these initiatives will be made in the future.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. BCBSKC provides health coverage to nearly one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
For more information on the company, visit its Web site at www.bcbskc.com. Our mission: to use our role as the area’s leading health insurer to provide affordable access to healthcare and to improve the health and wellness of our members.