WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–Jan. 14, 2004–Blue Cross of California (Blue Cross) today announced the appointment of Josh Valdez as senior vice president, network development. Reporting directly to Blue Cross chief executive officer and president, David Helwig, Valdez replaces Max Brown who will retire early this year. In this position, Valdez is responsible for overseeing all physician, hospital and ancillary physician and hospital network development and support for Blue Cross. He will provide operational and strategic leadership to a staff that develops, maintains and renews contracts with hospitals, physicians and ancillary health care facilities and professionals. He is also responsible for maintaining effective communication and relationships with Blue Cross’ professional health care network. Valdez’s appointment also makes him the highest ranking Hispanic within the company.
“Josh will be instrumental in defining and meeting the unique needs of our California network physicians and hospitals,” said Helwig. “His expertise and experience will serve the company well.” Helwig noted that Valdez is also fluent in Spanish and has spent considerable amount of time working on Border Health and health care issues with the underserved, uninsured and ethnic communities. “These are important skills that will help address the realities of California’s diverse communities and health care practitioners.”
With more than sixteen years of senior executive management experience in both the private and government sectors, Valdez had served since 2001 as regional director for the Federal Department of Health and Human Services where he was appointed by President George W. Bush to represent the Secretary of Health and Human Services for the Western U.S. and Pacific Territories. Prior to that, he was vice president of medical operations and managed care for AltaMed Health Services, a Southern California Medical Group. Valdez also served as chief financial officer and executive director for several notable Southern California medical groups including West Covina Medical Clinic, Eastland Medical Group, Rio Vista Medical Group, Azuza Medical Group and Combined Management Services in the mid-1990s.
Valdez began his health care career in the United States Air Force where he served for eight years first as a managed care administrator and later as the health services administrator for the McClellan/Mather Medical Group.
While in the Air Force, Valdez earned an associate degree in health care management from Community College of the Air Force, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. He later earned a bachelor’s of science degree in business administration from National University in Sacramento and a master of business administration degree in health services management from Golden State University in Sacramento. In addition, Valdez graduated magna cum laude with a doctor of business administration in health care administration from Southern California University in Santa Ana.
Blue Cross of California and its California affiliates, with more than 7 million medical members, is an operating subsidiary of WellPoint Health Networks Inc. (NYSE:WLP), one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health care companies. WellPoint serves the health care needs of more than 14 million medical members and approximately 44 million specialty members nationally. WellPoint offers a broad spectrum of quality network-based health products including open access PPO, POS and hybrid products, HMO and specialty products. Specialty products include pharmacy benefit management, dental, utilization management, vision, mental health, life and disability insurance, long term care insurance, flexible spending accounts, COBRA administration, and Medicare supplements. Blue Cross of California may be found on the web at http://www.bluecrossca.com. Blue Cross of California is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Association.
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Blue Cross of California
Michael Chee, 805-557-6791
Elisabeth Meza, 805-557-6722