Bill Gracey

Bill Gracey
President & CEO, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

Headquarters: Chattanooga, Tennessee
Education: BA psychology, University of Texas at Austin; MS healthcare administration, Trinity University
First Job: Mental health worker
What I’m Reading: Be Love Now by Ram Dass and
The Confession by John Grisham
Best Advice: We are all here for a reason, and we all have a purpose.

Moving mountains

I believe leadership is a gift that entails a serious responsibility for those within an organization and those the organization serves.

As a health solutions company, we serve people from all walks of life. If our workforce is to be responsive to and effective for one and all, we need associates who understand the various needs, customs, lifestyles, and perspectives of a broad base of our customer population. An organization with a diverse workforce understands and respects its diverse customers. For this reason, we seek a wide spectrum of employees from numerous backgrounds, lifestyles, and heritages that reflect the composition of the customer base. Here at BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, we are blessed that our workforce closely mirrors the people we serve.

A successful organization of any kind must actively work to encourage and respect diversity. If leadership is not actively involved in honoring diversity, the wealth of talent and knowledge that diversity manifests will not be fully realized for the good of our company and, more importantly, for the people we serve.

At the Tennessee BlueCross plan, we support diversity in so many ways. Our Employee Diversity Council, Board Diversity Task Force, diversity leadership mentoring programs, and diversity sharing programs are but just a few examples of how we honor and develop our diverse workforce. Our senior leadership team has a serious commitment to the ongoing program, and we have even made the achievement of certain diversity goals part of our incentive compensation. I strongly believe that, unless leadership is demonstrative about our commitment, a truly diversity-focused workforce will not evolve. As I look back over my career in health care, I recognize that attention to honoring people from all walks of life has been one of the major keys to my success.

An engaged workforce is a successful workforce. A diverse workforce is one of the main pathways to that success.

At BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, we are proud to call ourselves one family of diverse talents, perspectives, and backgrounds. With this commitment and momentum, we can move mountains and provide the unique health care needs of the three million people we serve.

Indeed, diversity is a gift we have been given and a responsibility we embrace!