Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Announces Christine Ferguson as Newest Addition to Board of Directors

(Providence, RI, 7.20.2009)
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Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) today announced the election of Christine C. Ferguson to its board of directors. Ms. Ferguson, who lives in Jamestown, Rhode Island, is currently a research professor at The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington, D.C., where she has taught since 2006.

"We are fortunate that Christine has joined our board," said James E. Purcell, BCBSRI president and chief executive officer. "She brings more than 20 years of healthcare experience to our organization, and her insight will help us enhance the health and healthcare of our members."

For nearly 14 years, Ms. Ferguson was counsel and deputy chief of staff to the late Rhode Island Senator John H. Chafee, where she led his efforts to reform national health and social policy, with a special focus on health services to medically underserved populations. She then moved on to become director of the Rhode Island Department of Human Services, where she oversaw nearly one-third of the state's annual budget. Her work in Medicaid reform, early childhood education, child care, and child welfare reform was nationally recognized.

Ms. Ferguson also served as commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where she led efforts in the areas of emergency preparedness, substance abuse services, medical errors reduction, and early childhood education and child care. As an advocate for children's health, she most recently founded First Focus, a bipartisan children's advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., where she was chief executive officer.

A graduate of the University of Michigan and the Washington College of Law at American University, Ms. Ferguson is a member of the Board on Children, Youth and Families of the National Academy of Sciences and has served in a leadership capacity at the National Academy for State Health Policy and other organizations.

"I spent most of my life focusing on the quality and cost of healthcare," said Ms. Ferguson. "I look forward to working on these vitally important issues with my fellow directors and the management team at BCBSRI."

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

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