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Vice President, Racial & Health Equity

St. Paul, Minnesota
kp prime search, the retained search division of kpCompanies is leading the search for strategic outcomes and equity-focused leader to become the next Vice President, Racial & Health Equity for Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota. Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Health Services, the VP of Racial & Health Equity oversees health equity initiatives and works to operationalize racial and health equity through policies, practices and programs.
For more than 80 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (BCBSMN) has been dedicated to providing high quality, cost-effective health plans and unique health programs through innovation, leadership, community involvement and by staying true to its mission of making a healthy difference in people’s lives. BCBSMN was the first “Blue” plan in the nation and today is the leading health plan in Minnesota with annual revenue of >$13 billion and service to nearly 3 million members, or about 1 in 3 Minnesotans. BCBSMN is a not-for-profit, taxable organization with approximately 3,500 employees and is headquartered in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Eagan.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is committed to ensuring that Minnesotans have access to high-quality, patient-centric, affordable healthcare. That is the very foundation of our strategy to reinvent healthcare. We recognize that racism and the social determinants of health, including housing, food insecurity, transportation, early childhood education, and community safety are significant drivers of health inequities.
BCBSMN has joined many other organizations in declaring racism a public health crisis and we are committed to amplifying our leadership and making substantial investments to address racial and health equity. This work will continue as one of the organization’s top priorities heading into 2021.
Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Health Services, this role will serve as the strategic thought leader for racial and health equity. This individual will ensure the organization executes on its vision to address the public health crisis of systemic racism and health inequities both within our enterprise and across our community and provider partnerships. As the largest health plan in Minnesota, we believe BCBSMN is uniquely positioned, in partnership with our community and provider leaders, to make a measurable and lasting positive impact on the racial and health equity of our community.
This role is responsible to develop, implement, facilitate and integrate our collective racial and health equity strategic initiatives and lead the work across a matrixed and distributed structure to deliver impactful and meaningful change. This role will serve as an advisor, bridge builder, strategic leader and partner, enabling leaders across the organization to identify and execute initiatives to effect lasting change and apply a racial and health equity lens to every aspect of the organization. The individual will be a spokesperson and serve as a champion of our racial and health equity work internally and externally.
In addition, this leader will work alongside the CEO to lead a cross-enterprise governance structure that provides oversight and guidance to our racial and health equity work. . This leader will ensure we take an integrated approach and transformative actions to deliver on our commitment to address racial and health inequities in our organization and communities.
The key success factors for this individual within the first year include:
  1. Drive clarity and focus – help the organization identify the specific steps we will take, leveraging our role as a healthcare company. Steps will include both high-impact, high-visibility actions and lower-profile but still essential commitments.
  2. Ensure success of Racial Equity Action Committee for Health (REACH) governance committee – effectively facilitate, lead, guide, and manage a large enterprise-wide committee and ensure charter of the committee is achieved.
  3. Assess the current status of racial and health equity work that is occurring across the organization. Evaluate effectiveness, identify gaps, and integrate racial and health equity initiatives and programs across the organization.
  4.  Identify and monitor progress toward specific metrics to which we will hold ourselves accountable.
This individual will define the required organizational structure and team needed to execute on our racial and health equity agenda. Current programmatic areas and direct reports to this role include:
  • Health equity integration, led by the Director of Health Equity, responsible for implementing equity improvements across the enterprise.
  • Blue Cross Foundation, led by the Foundation President and Sr. Director of Community Partnerships, focused on grantmaking to address social determinants of health with $60M in assets.
  • Center for Prevention, led by the Director, Center for Prevention, responsible for community funding to support policy and systems changes.
  • Tobacco settlement strategy and budget, led across four enterprise departments, with operational support from the Director, Center for Prevention, with $120M in assets
  1. Amplify the equity narrative through strategic leadership to shape direction, develop plans, identify measurable outcomes, and manage resources and relationships to successfully execute racial and health equity goals.
  2. Integrate and connect racial and health equity initiatives and programs across the organization to execute the racial and health equity strategy and maximize impact.
  3. Provide organizational support to the Blue Cross Foundation and serve on the Foundation Board of Directors, as determined by the Blue Cross CEO.
  4. Provide strategic leadership and budget oversight for the enterprise tobacco settlement fund, including the Center for Prevention.
  5. Manage the company's investment through a balance of quantitative and qualitative data, planning, and execution.
  6. Operationalize racial and health equity across the organization by conducting equity analyses to change organizational policies, practices, and programs.
  7. Direct the assessment, design, and execution of communications strategies and tactics.
  8. Establish and maintain strong working relationships with external stakeholders. Build strong partnerships with health care, public health organizations, non-profits, and government agencies with which we share mutual goals.
  9. Serve as a spokesperson for the company, including with media, policymaking bodies (i.e. the legislature, city council, county boards), and in local and national forums.
  10. Lead and manage the department including interviewing and hiring associates, manage performance, support development, provide continuous coaching and feedback, and ensure disciplined budget management.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota seeks candidates with the following leadership attributes:
  • Impeccable integrity, words and actions must continually reinforce this characteristic.
  • Ability to have candid conversations – identify and raise issues about equity, the ability to lean into discomfort, and have cross-cultural resolution conflict skills (Skills moving from minimization to acceptance)
  • Hold multiple perspectives – Understand how racial and health-based privilege and power has contributed to “range of barriers to equal opportunity and the depth of embedded racial and health inequities”—how they were created, are currently reinforced and maintained, and can be removed (Skills moving Acceptance to Adaptation)
  • Cultural adaptive communication skills – the ability to shift communication style to effectively communicate throughout community engagement/work process while maintaining own core identity, values, and perspective (Adaptation skill)
  • Credible, persuasive, and clear in both oral and written presentations.
  • Superb influencing skills evidenced by a high EQ and demonstrated ability to build strong relationships with customers, colleagues, the Board, regulators, and community.
  • Collaborator, team player, and consensus builder, yet individually strong in taking actions and can push back with the business case when appropriate. 
  • A forward-thinking, innovative, and action-oriented, low-ego servant leader motivated by the advancement of the organization.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, Advanced degree preferred.
  • At least 7 years community health and/or equity, diversity and inclusion related experience at a senior level.
  • 12 years of progressively responsible work experience in health care or public/community health, which includes senior-level leadership and management experience.
  • Deep understanding of root causes and social determinants of health and other forms of equity with the capacity to bring resolution
  • Expert strategic skills with the capacity to develop and lead strategic and operational plans.
  • Proven ability to lead in a matrix organization and to manage in a highly changing and transforming environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to negotiate in a diplomatic manner to resolve conflicts.
Accepting this VP level position at BCBSMN requires signing an Employee Confidentiality, Intellectual Property Assignment, and Restrictive Covenants Agreement as a condition of employment.
Interested candidates should submit cover letter, resume, and salary expectations no later than 9:00pm on Friday, November 13, 2020
In addition to Linkedin, you can apply in the following ways:
1.    Go to https://kpcompanies.com/open-positions/
2.    Via email to Joelle Allen at joelle@kpcompanies.com and cc: miquel@kpcompanies.com
3.    By mail at: VP, Racial & Health Equity Search c/o kpcompanies, ATTN: Joelle Allen 5775 Wayzata Blvd, Suite 700, St. Louis Park, MN 55416.  
All submissions received in the strictest confidence. Both kpCompanies and Blue Cross Blue Shield Minnesota are equal opportunity employers.

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