CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has promoted Dr. Andrea Willis to the position of chief medical officer and vice president to lead health programs benefiting the company’s more than 3 million members.

In this role, Willis will hold key responsibilities to help BlueCross® achieve its mission to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans. She will focus on clinical quality, optimizing care and overall medical management.

“Andrea has a vision and passion for achieving better health for our communities,” said J.D. Hickey, executive vice president and COO for BlueCross. “Since she first joined our team, I’ve known she was someone whose No. 1 priority was to make an impact on health in our state. With experience at the state government level and proven success in her former position here, she brings the expertise and clinical experience we need in this critically important leadership position.”

Willis previously served as medical director of the BlueCross’ CHOICES Long Term Services and Supports Program. She reviewed and advised on plans of care for daily living services and home health to meet members’ needs. Prior to that position she served as medical director for BlueCaresm and CoverTennessee, as well as director of CoverKids. As a leader for CoverKids, she developed policies and rules necessary for the federally approved, State Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Before joining BlueCross Willis served as deputy commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Health. In this position she championed the “Better Health: It’s About Time!” initiative and coordinated all Tennessee Department of Health programs with a focus on health indicators and better use of technology and health data.

Willis is a fellow with the American Academy of Pediatrics. Previously she sat on the Tennessee Center for Nursing Board of Directors, as well as the Tennessee Department of Health Institutional Review Board.

Willis earned a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, and a Doctor of Medicine from Georgetown University School of Medicine. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, earning the Alpha Kappa Alpha Award for Academic Achievement.

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.