Angela F. Braly

Angela F. Braly
Chair, President and CEO, WellPoint, Inc.

Headquarters: Indianapolis, Indiana
Primary Business: Health Benefits
Employees: More than 37,000

2011 CEO in Action

Diversity is good business. I believe that’s especially true in health care. At WellPoint, one of our objectives is to create the best health care value in our industry. The health care system can be a challenge to navigate, and we work to connect our customers to the quality care they want and need. We also work hard to manage costs, so quality care is affordable and accessible for our customers.

However, how people understand these connections in health care, and how their communities inform them of these connections, is very different across racial, cultural, gender, and economic lines.

Let me offer an example. We recently conducted research among our African – American and Hispanic members with the ultimate goal of enhancing our disease management programs for diabetes to make them more culturally relevant. One of the important findings was that participants in our programs really loved their cultural foods and were having a tough time making healthier changes to their diets.

We now offer information that specifically shows how traditional foods can be made in healthier ways, what traditional ingredients can be kept, and which should be substituted. Building on this work, we were privileged to be awarded a grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to implement a health disparities pilot aimed at helping African-American and Hispanic members better manage their diabetes.

This is one example of how diversity is an imperative for our business and how it helps us fulfill our mission to improve the lives of the people we serve and the health of our communities.

If you’re building a world-class workforce, it has to be diverse. We cover approximately one in nine Americans, from all walks of life, under our affiliated health plans. To improve the care and service we provide our customers and members, we rely on the expertise of our diverse associate base.

We believe we serve our customers best when our associates and our suppliers come from the same communities and understand the various perceptions that exist about accessing health care. We’re very proud of the work we’ve done at WellPoint to promote diversity in our workforce, our workplace, and in the marketplaces we serve.

As we make health care reform work for our customers, we will only build upon our commitment – through diversity – to simplify the connection between health, care and value for all Americans.

Education: JD, Southern Methodist University School of Law, Undergraduate degree in finance from Texas Tech University
First Job: Waitress
What I’m Reading: The Essential Wooden, by John Wooden
My Philosophy: Do the right thing. Do it for the customer. Do it right the first time.
Best Advice: Work hard, always be yourself, commit to something you feel passionate about, serve your customer, and always do the right thing.
Family: I have a wonderful husband and three terrific children.
Interests: Spending time with my family Favorite Charity: United Way