CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — The BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Board of Directors has appointed Stephen Walker to the newly created post of senior vice president of federal programs.

In this role, Walker will be responsible for the strategic direction of several Medicare-focused BlueCross subsidiaries, oversight of the company’s Medicare Advantage operations and coordination of future federal business opportunities. Walker will report directly to Steve Coulter, president of the government business and emerging markets unit at BlueCross.

“Stephen brings outstanding talent, foresight and leadership skills to this role,” said Coulter. “His depth of knowledge and experience in working with the federal government will continue to enhance the strategic coordination of these programs and help us achieve our business goal of becoming a national leader in service to federal health coverage programs.”

In 2005, Walker joined the Tennessee Blues Plan where he focused on legal, regulatory and compliance issues involving federal operations. Prior to that, he held a number of executive-level positions at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pennsylvania, including serving as vice president of the company’s Medicare fiscal intermediary. Before his work at Highmark, Walker served as an assistant regional counsel in Philadelphia and Chicago for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Walker holds a bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and a law degree from Villanova University. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the American Health Lawyers’ Association and the National Health Care Compliance Association.

Walker and his wife, Patricia Smith-Walker, have two sons.

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