Health Equity in Tennessee: Opportunities to Increase Access to Care

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In early 2023, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee released its first Health Equity Report that shares how race and other social factors affect health outcomes in the state. The report includes subject areas such as maternal health, cancer, child and adolescent well-care, and behavioral health, among others and highlights disparities in health outcomes. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee hopes to use this report to tell the stories of access to healthcare in the state and as a health equity conversation starter for Tennessee and beyond. Join Dr. Andrea Willis, Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Keshia Pollack Porter, Chair of the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, as they discuss this report and the implications it has for healthcare in Tennessee and elsewhere. 

This event will be virtual. 

ABOUT Andrea Willis

Dr. Andrea D. Willis is Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer for BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, which has more than 6,000 employees and serves more than 3.5 million members in the state and across the country. In this role, Willis guides BlueCross’ clinical processes that are central to improving the health and well-being of our members.

She oversees Total Health Management and Pharmacy Management and is responsible for achieving and maintaining clinical quality excellence, optimizing member care and medical management functions, oversight of clinical risk management and collaborating with the provider community. Willis serves as the clinical face of the organization with customers, providers, regulators and other stakeholders, as well as our employees and Board of Directors.

Prior to joining BlueCross, Willis was director of CoverKids and was responsible for developing Tennessee’s federally approved State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). She also previously served as deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health.

Willis earned a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a Doctor of Medicine from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

ABOUT Dr. Keshia Pollack Porter

Keshia M. Pollack Porter, PhD, MPH, is a Professor of Health Policy and Management and Associate Dean for Faculty. Her work uses injury epidemiology, health impact assessment (HIA), and mixed methods to advance policies that create safe, healthy, and equitable environments where people live, work, play, and travel. She focuses on identifying policy solutions that address social determinants of health, reduce disparities, and advance health equity. She regularly engages with policymakers to promote evidence-informed policy decisions and advance Health in All Policies (HiAP) at the local, state, and federal levels.

Dr. Pollack Porter received her BA in Sociology and Community Health from Tufts University, her MPH from Yale University, and her PhD from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

 Event Date
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Start Time: 2:00pm EDT
End Time: 3:00pm EDT

Bloomberg School of Public Health
Elizabeth Rigsbee

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