For immediate release: September 30, 2008
Contact: Kevin Goddard - (802) 371-3244
Berlin, VT – William R. Milnes, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont (BCBSVT), has announced he will retire later this year after 10 years with the Plan and nearly 34 years with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield system.
Mr. Milnes, 62, will step down on November 30. Don George, vice president of managed health systems for BCBSVT and senior vice president and chief operating officer of the company’s HMO affiliate, The Vermont Health Plan (TVHP), has been named to fill the role of interim chief executive officer of the plan.
“Under Bill’s leadership Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont has grown, strengthened and improved in all areas,” said Guy Boyer, chairman of the BCBSVT Board of Directors. “He will leave a strong company with a culture of constant improvement and a unique commitment to its members, customers and to the state of Vermont.”
BCBSVT, an independent, Vermont-based health benefits and financing company, experienced strong financial, market and operational growth under Mr. Milnes’ leadership. The company and TVHP both have been named by U.S. News and World Reports as among America’s top health plans in each of the last two years, and earlier this year BCBSVT received the Governor’s Award for Performance Excellence for its Blue Peaks process improvement initiatives.
Additionally, the plan received the prestigious Community Leadership Award from the health insurance industry’s largest trade organization, America’s Health Insurance Plans, and Mr. Milnes also directed the creation of a non-profit charity named the Vermont Caring For Children Foundation.
Mr. George, 50, joined BCBSVT in 1993, and during his career with the Plan has taken on increasing accountabilities and leadership responsibilities. He has bachelor’s degrees in business and political science from the University of Vermont, and a master’s degree in management and administration from
St. Michael’s College. He is responsible for the Plan’s quality programs, provider payment and relations programs, and its medical cost management strategies. Additionally, he was recently elected to chair the
Board of Directors of the Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc.; is a member of the board of the Vermont Council for Quality and is a member of the Vermont Blueprint for Health Executive Committee.
Mr. Boyer said that in selecting a successor to Mr. Milnes, the BCBSVT Board has initiated a full-scale screening process to identify and include qualified individuals from both within and outside the company.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is the state's oldest and largest private health insurer, providing coverage for about 180,000 Vermonters. It employs over 350 Vermonters at its headquarters in Berlin and its branch office in Williston, and has offered group and individual health plans to Vermonters for more than 60 years.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is an independent corporation operating under a license with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, an association of independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans.