Honoree: Richard Boals
President and CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
As president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ) since 2003, Richard Boals is dedicated to ensuring that the health care needs of 1.3 million beneficiaries are met and exceeded.
He leads a team of managers and staff totaling 1,500 in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff and Tempe. He joined BCBSAZ in 1971, and has served in a variety of capacities.
Among his initiatives, Boals pioneered a proactive program to provide health and wellness information to plan members, as well as the community. Under his guidance, BCBSAZ introduced a free online resource that provides access to certain HealthyBlue resources, including tools and services that can help individuals make better health decisions.
Boals’ trusted and effective leadership has established BCBSAZ as a health insurance leader in Arizona. He is committed to providing improved quality of life to Arizonans by delivering a variety of health insurance products and services to individuals, families, and small and large businesses.
In 2005, Boals introduced the Walk On! Challenge, a free, annual 28-day exercise challenge in February designed to motivate Arizona fifth-graders to include exercise in their daily routines. Participation in the program has increased each year by an average of 20 percent, with more than 45,000 participants in the 2009 Challenge. Since its inception, BCBSAZ has registered more than 130,000 students from 474 Arizona schools.
Boals regularly supports the fundraising efforts of nonprofits that provide programs and services to the military and their families.
Finalist: Robert Beauchamp, MD
Senior Medical Director
UnitedHealthcare of Arizona
Dr. Robert Beauchamp, senior medical director for UnitedHealthcare of Arizona, is a member of the health plan’s senior leadership team and is its top clinician in Arizona. A major goal is to improve care while holding down costs.
His responsibilities include patient care, staff supervision and physician relations. He focuses on ensuring the appropriate use of medical services and improving clinical quality, efforts that promote positive patient outcomes and lower costs. He oversees three local medical directors and a team of nurses who serve patients in Arizona and Utah. Beauchamp makes weekly stops at three hospitals — Banner Good Samaritan, St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and John C. Lincoln North Mountain — to review patient cases and meet with nurses and physicians.
Through his efforts, he has helped to improve patient care and limit patient readmissions. This enables patients to return home as soon as they are healthy, reuniting with family and friends.
Finalist: Robert Flores, MD
Medical Director, Population Health Management
CIGNA HealthCare of Arizona
As medical director of population health management for Cigna Medical Group, Dr. Robert Flores has direct oversight of CIGNA HealthCare of Arizona’s Chronic Health Improvement Program (CHIP).
Flores and his team developed CHIP in 2007, after observing that patients with chronic conditions — especially those with certain combinations — often received fragmented care, were more likely to be seen in the emergency room, and were often hospitalized. As a result of Flores’ efforts, approximately 1,000 patients currently are enrolled in CHIP. Outcomes studies show that CHIP members have reduced their hospital admissions and bed days by about 55 percent. Flores has been working in his current position since 2001, and full time in the health care industry since 1999.
At Cigna Medical Group, his department is responsible for quality initiatives across 28 locations and more than 200 practicing doctors, nurses or health care professionals.