Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Appoints Simone E. Edwards as VP Health Equity and Community Investments

Posted on October 3, 2023

SYRACUSE, NY – Excellus BlueCross BlueShield announces the appointment of Simone E. Edwards, DrPH, MPH, as vice president health equity and community investments, reinforcing the health plan’s unwavering commitment to foster a more equitable and inclusive health care landscape for all.

“We are excited to have Dr. Edwards join our team and believe that her unique perspective and strategic vision will help drive positive change within our organization,” says Lisa Harris, MD, senior vice president, corporate medical director at Excellus BCBS. “We look forward to working with Dr. Edwards to reinforce our dedication to high-quality care, reducing health disparities and making a difference in the lives of our members and the community.”

Dr. Edwards has dedicated over 15 years in the health care field to advance the health and well-being of underserved populations. She will play a pivotal role in advancing the health plan’s mission to promote health equity, cultural sensitivity, and community health. As vice president health equity and community investments, she will lead the development and implementation of innovative strategies to eliminate health disparities and promote health equity within our communities. She’ll also establish partnerships with community organizations, health care providers, and other stakeholders to drive impactful initiatives, and collaborate with internal teams to integrate health equity principles into the health plan’s products, services, and operations.

“Health equity means everyone has a fair chance at living the healthiest life possible. It is also key to building a vital and thriving society. I look forward to taking a community-driven approach to engage and invest in activities that promote equity and ultimately member and community health,” says Dr. Edwards.

Dr. Edwards acquired her bachelor’s degree in biology from Stony Brook University and her Master and Doctor of Public Health degrees from New York Medical College. She received a certificate in Leadership Development to Advance Equity in Health Care from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Edwards lives in Rochester and enjoys traveling.

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Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 4,200 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit ExcellusBCBS.com.

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