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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Named 2007 Corporation of the Year in Health Care by Michigan Minority Business Development Council

DETROIT, Nov. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has been named 2007 Corporation of the Year in Health Care by the Michigan Minority Business Development Council.

The award recognizes the Blues' outstanding achievements in creating and maintaining a diverse network of suppliers to the corporation.

"Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan is extremely proud to receive this award because it recognizes our strong commitments to diversity and our state," said Daniel J. Loepp, Blues president and CEO. "Michigan is our home. We embrace the rich diversity of people here, and strive to reflect that diversity in our workforce and our business partners."

For the last 14 years, BCBSM's supplier diversity program has met or surpassed its goal of allocating 15 percent of available procurement funds to minority business enterprises. The Blues' spending with diverse suppliers has steadily increased over the last three years: $24 million in 2004, $31 million in 2005 and $50 million in 2006.

The MMBDC award follows BCBSM winning an Exemplary Voluntary Efforts Award from the U.S. Department of Labor in 2006. The EVE award honors federal contractors whose innovative workplace programs and initiatives increase equal employment opportunities for the American workforce. At BCBSM, women constitute 75 percent of the workforce and minorities 46 percent.

Audrey Harvey, Blues vice president of corporate services, said the Blues' commitment to supplier diversity goes beyond just purchasing goods and services from minority businesses.

"We arrange opportunities for suppliers to network with BCBSM departments, senior leadership and procurement staff," Harvey said. "We form mentoring relationships with suppliers and introduce them to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and other affiliated Blues plans and subsidiaries to help them grow their businesses. We also host our own annual Supplier Diversity Achievement Awards that highlight the achievements of our suppliers, procurement staff and company departments."

Although much progress has been made, more remains to be done, Loepp said.

"We know there is still much work to be done in the pursuit of supplier diversity and economic empowerment, and we are committed to continue working toward achieving those goals," he said.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to more than 4.6 million members residing in Michigan in addition to members of Michigan-headquartered groups who reside outside the state. The company offers a broad variety of plans including: Traditional Blue Cross Blue Shield; Blue Preferred, Community Blue and Healthy Blue Incentives PPOs; Blue Care Network HMO; BCN Healthy Blue Living; Flexible Blue plans compatible with health savings accounts; Medicare Advantage; Part D Prescription Drug plans, and MyBlue products in the under-age-65 individual market. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and Blue Care Network are nonprofit corporations and independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit

SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
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