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Michigan Blues Lead the Way in Hiring, Advancing People With Disabilities

DETROIT, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Business Leadership Network named Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan the Lead Employer of the Year, one of its three 2009 Exceptional Leadership Awards.

The Lead Employer of the Year award is presented to the lead employer of a local Business Leadership Network that has provided exemplary service by carrying out the mission, vision and the spirit of the BLN.

"Blue Cross is a model for other businesses by posting jobs, hosting events, providing internships and hiring and advancing people with disabilities," said Gregory Ulferts, Business Leadership Network of Michigan board chairman.

The USBLN®, a national organization representing more than 5,000 employers, recognizes and promotes best practices in hiring, retaining and marketing to people with disabilities. The lead employer partners with other employers to initiate, establish and expand opportunities for employees with disabilities in the workplace.

"The MIBLN is proud to have Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan as a partner at both the state level and the local council level," said Ulferts. "BCBSM has taken a leadership role in introducing best practices to Michigan businesses that make good business sense. We are proud of what BCBSM has done for people with disabilities in the workplace and in the marketplace."

The Blues shares best practices, serves as a business model and learns from others by:

  • Developing proactive policies to hire, retain and advance employees with disabilities
  • Sponsoring youth internships
  • Promoting opportunities for workers with disabilities at the 2009 Celebrate Diversity Expo
  • Hosting executive briefings and sponsoring area conferences for Michigan employers about best practices for hiring, retaining and advancing workers with disabilities

"Diversity has many dimensions, and our diversity initiative is being recognized for valuing all aspects of diversity. We are proud to know that we are making a difference," said Equilla Wainwright, BCBSM vice president of diversity and community responsibility. "We are extremely honored to receive the USBLN award and look forward to building an ongoing relationship."

The USBLN® is the only national business organization currently representing 60 BLN affiliates and satellites in 36 states - including the District of Columbia - and more than 5000 employers using a "business to business" strategy to promote the business imperative of including people with disabilities.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit organization, provides and administers health benefits to 4.7 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. BCBSM also offers dental, vision and hearing plans. 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



SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
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