CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — J.D. Hickey has been appointed executive vice president and chief operating officer of BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Effective May 1, Hickey will succeed Bill Gracey, who is president and chief executive officer elect.

“Over the past year, J.D. has demonstrated an incredible grasp of our organization and our changing market dynamics,” Gracey said. “He’s a nationally respected leader and health care strategist who’s proven to be effective leading our efforts to innovate throughout the business.”

Hickey joined BlueCross in March 2011 as senior vice president, as well as president and CEO of Volunteer State Health Plan (VSHP), BlueCross’ Medicaid managed care organization. Eight months later, he took on increasing corporate responsibilities including oversight of health care services for the enterprise.

During his career, Hickey has drawn on his training as a physician and attorney while serving in executive leadership roles in health care. Before joining BlueCross, he led strategic health care consulting and management teams as a principal with McKinsey & Company. Prior to that, he served on Gov. Phil Bredesen’s cabinet as director of the TennCare Bureau. He has also held executive positions with Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) and Qualifacts Systems, Inc.

Hickey graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree from Colgate. He went on to earn medical and law degrees from Duke University.

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