Florida Blue advances commitment to equity with first Chief Health Equity Officer
Contact Name: Estella V. Gray
Contact Email: Estella.Gray@bcbsfl.com
Contact Phone Number: 813-882-6722
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jan. 19, 2022 – Florida Blue’s parent company, GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell) today announced the appointment of Dr. Kelli Tice as the enterprise’s first ever Chief Health Equity Officer. GuideWell created the position to advance health equity and address long-standing social, health and racial inequities in the communities it serves.
The announcement of this newly created position is part of Florida Blue and GuideWell’s overall commitment to improve health equity for its employees, members, customers and communities.
“Today’s announcement marks another step forward in our pledge to embed diversity, equity and inclusion in everything we do,” said Pat Geraghty, president and CEO of Florida Blue and GuideWell. “Dr. Tice brings an unparalleled level of dedication, passion and expertise in reducing health disparities, delivering culturally competent care and advancing our mission by improving health outcomes for people and communities.”
As Chief Health Equity Officer, Dr. Tice will serve as an officer of the company and will be responsible for creating solutions that improve health outcomes and address health inequities for the customers and the communities Florida Blue and GuideWell serves. In addition, Dr. Tice will continue to have a critical role on the Equity Alliance, an enterprise-wide initiative focused on addressing systemic racism and health disparities for Black Americans.
“As a family physician with a background in public health, I have always championed efforts to remove barriers to care and help people thrive and achieve their best health,” said Dr. Tice. “Every American deserves affordable, high-quality care and I am fortunate to lead this strategy for a mission-driven organization that is taking a leading role in improving health care equity and diversity.”
In 2018 Dr. Tice joined GuideWell and Florida Blue, the state’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan, as Senior Medical Director of Medical Affairs.
Dr. Tice served as the clinical lead for Florida Blue’s COVID-19 response, using her background in public health and her powerful voice to educate employees, members and the community about the latest medical science regarding testing, treatment, prevention and vaccines. Through online videos and educational events, Dr. Tice makes it her mission to educate others so they can feel empowered to make informed decisions for themselves, their companies and their families.
In addition to her focused work around COVID-19, Dr. Tice has also led the company’s health equity strategy, led the social determinants of health (SDoH) strategy and helped drive efforts for the Equity Alliance.
Under her leadership, Dr. Tice was instrumental in the development of a health equity dashboard that provides greater insight into social determinants of health and other barriers to care that impact members. She also led GuideWell’s efforts to join with 40 cross-sector health organizations in committing to a Health Equity pledge to leverage data to address health disparities.
Before joining Florida Blue, Dr. Tice spent 17 years as a public health physician, serving in numerous leadership roles including that of county health officer and state medical director for the Florida Department of Health.
Dr. Tice has always had an interest in addressing health disparities and delivering culturally competent care. Early in her career, she taught cultural competency for physicians, and incorporated evidence-based techniques to promote health equity into primary care practice in both private and public clinical settings.
Dr. Tice is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, the Florida Academy of Family Physicians, and currently serves as the chair of the Deans Council, Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida.
GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell) is a not-for-profit mutual holding company and the parent to a family of forward-thinking companies focused on transforming health care. The GuideWell organization includes Florida Blue, the leading health insurance company in Florida; GuideWell Health, a portfolio of clinical delivery organizations; GuideWell Venture Group, a portfolio of companies, including Onlife Health and PopHealthCare, focused on creating human-first and innovative health solutions for health plans; GuideWell Source, a provider of administrative services to state and federal health care programs; and WebTPA, a market leading administrator of self-funded employer health plans. In total, GuideWell and its affiliated companies serve more than 45 million people in 45 states. For more information, visit www.guidewell.com.