CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — William M. (Bill) Gracey will join BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee as president and chief operating officer on Oct. 18.

Gracey will oversee operations of the company’s government and commercial business units and report directly to BlueCross CEO Vicky Gregg.

“Bill will bring added management strength to keep us successful as we navigate through the complex environment ahead as national health care reform is implemented,” Gregg said. “I am confident Bill has the right background and the right leadership skills and experience to successfully lead our operations.”

Gracey served on the BlueCross Board of Directors for the past four years. He has spent most of his 35-year career as a leader in the health care industry in Tennessee. Most recently, he was executive vice president and COO of Lifepoint Hospitals, a 52-hospital system with 23,000 employees and 2,500 physicians in 17 states, headquartered in Nashville. At Lifepoint, his responsibilities included managed care contracting and management of numerous physician-hospital networks. Prior to that, Gracey held increasingly responsible roles in Hospital Corporation of America, culminating as President and CEO of its MidSouth division.

Gracey earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas in 1975 and a master’s degree in health care administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.

Among his extensive board service and professional memberships are the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Federation of American Hospitals, and the Tennessee Hospital Association.

Gracey is married to Catherine Finn Gracey. They have four children and three grandchildren.

About BlueCross

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee's mission is to provide its customers and communities with peace of mind through affordable solutions for health and healing, life and living. Founded in 1945, the Chattanooga-based company is focused on reinventing the health plan for its 3 million members in Tennessee and across the country. Through its integrated health management approach, BlueCross provides patient-centric products and services that drive health improvement and positively impact health care quality and value. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Inc. is an independent licensee of the BlueCross BlueShield Association. For more information, visit the company's website at www.bcbst.com.