by Moxye Staff

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee named a well-known local leader as its first Memphis market president.

Kevin Woods, who most recently served as the executive director of Memphis’ Workforce Investment Network (WIN) — an organization dedicated to connecting and preparing job seekers with jobs — accepted the top local leadership position for the largest managed care plan employer in the Mid-South.

Woods is the first person to hold the title of Memphis market president.

“BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee realizes how important Memphis is to its market,” Woods said. “They were looking for leadership — someone who could be on the ground helping represent the organization each day here in the city. After searching for someone to represent the organization, there was an opportunity for me to be able to take on that role, and I am excited to do so.”

Woods also serves on the Shelby County School board, is chair of the BRIDGES board of trustees and is a member of the REACH Memphis board and the tnAchieves Advisory Council.

His tenure with BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee (BCBSTN) officially started Jan. 29, and while still early, Woods outlined some focus areas for the company, such as expanding its role in the community and sharing the stories of its “great employees.” His primary objective, though, is to continue the company’s long-respected history and contribute to “what makes Memphis great.”

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BCBSTN wants to ensure people have access to health care options, but their purpose goes beyond that, Woods said. For example, they want to push the importance of health and wellness, not just for those who go to work and who are employed but to kids in schools.

“Our primary goal to make sure BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee is seen as part of that solution, not just growing our market space,” Woods said. “How do we be a part of the things that are important to this city? How do we partner with companies [and] organizations trying to make Memphis a better place? The corporate mission from BlueCross BlueShield — making sure our citizens are healthy — will be a part of our Memphis brand [so that] we are seen as a leader when it comes to community partnerships.”

His new role continues the trajectory he was already on with WIN rather than signifying a new direction, he said.

“With the support of the [Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s] administration, we built a stronger workforce organization for Memphis that should only get better,” Woods said. “As a corporate partner, I will still have the opportunity to serve on boards and advisory committees focused on improving life for Memphians. I’m glad to be joining an employer that understands the value of education and how it contributes to the health of our community.”

Founded in 1947, the Chattanooga-based company has more than 320 full-time employees in the Memphis area, with 6,100 participating local physicians in the plan.

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