Denise A. Barge Elected to Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Board of Directors

(Providence, RI, 12.31.2009)

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) today announced the election of Denise A. Barge to its board of directors.

Barge, who lives in Cranston, RI, is the principal consultant for Barge and Associates, LLC, which provides advisory and management services for nonprofit organizations, specializing in financial management, program management, and board development.

“We are excited to welcome Ms. Barge as the newest member of our board of directors,” said James E. Purcell, BCBSRI president and CEO. “Her more than 18 years of financial and management experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors, coupled with her strong community involvement, will be valuable in helping us to continue our important work of providing the best health coverage possible to our members.”

Barge is the former executive director of the Minority Investment Development Corporation (MIDC) and the Rhode Island Coalition for Minority Investment (RICMI), where she was responsible for managing the overall operations, staff, board of directors, and programs for both for-profit and nonprofit entities. Additionally, Barge has held positions at BankBoston First Community Bank, BankBoston Hospital Trust Bank, Fleet National Bank, and Security Pacific National Bank in Los Angeles.

“As a member of BCBSRI’s board of directors, I look to gain a better understanding of how the healthcare industry can be a driving force in improving the quality of life for both the insured and uninsured,” said Barge. “I am a strong advocate of healthcare coverage for small businesses, a promoter of preventive care among women, and an active member of community organizations around Rhode Island. With this, I feel that I can represent the voice of the community well and act as an effective advocate in pursuing the BCBSRI mission through outreach and compassion.”

A graduate of the University of California at Los Angeles, Barge has received accolades for her leadership and business achievements. The Rhode Island Small Business Administration recognized her as the Women in Business Champion of the Year in 2008 and with the District Director’s Award in 2000. Additionally, she was the recipient of the Providence Business News 2008 Business Women Award and the Urban League of Rhode Island Woman of Substance Award in 2006.

Barge serves as chairperson for the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, vice-chairperson for Bannister House, and advisory board member for Rockland Trust Bank. She is a commissioner for Rhode Island Housing and just completed a nine-year term as a board member and trustee for the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and now 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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