ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Janice Torrez has been named incoming president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico (BCBSNM). Torrez will replace current BCBSNM President Kurt Shipley, who will retire on Dec. 31, 2020, after a 24-year tenure with BCBSNM.
“I am honored to have served as president of BCBSNM for the past eight years,” Shipley said. “Our employees are dedicated to making health care in New Mexico more affordable and accessible, and I couldn’t be more proud of the accomplishments we’ve made together. I’ve worked closely with Janice for many years. She is equally committed to addressing the health and social challenges facing New Mexico. I am confident that she will be a strong advocate for our members and all New Mexicans.”
Torrez has been with BCBSNM for more than 12 years, most recently serving as associate vice president of External Affairs and chief of staff since 2012. In this role Torrez led and advanced many important initiatives and played a pivotal role in joint efforts with key stakeholders across the state and the health care industry. She oversaw government relations and the overall planning, budgeting and administration at BCBSNM.
As plan president, Torrez will be responsible for developing and executing strategies to accelerate local market growth and achieve membership and financial targets for BCBSNM. Torrez will oversee all plan operations, including sales and account management, government and public relations, provider network management and medical management.
“I am both honored and excited to take on this role and have the opportunity to follow Kurt Shipley and continue the successes BCBSNM has had under his leadership,” Torrez said. “I truly believe in our mission to stand with our members and all citizens of New Mexico in sickness and in health. I am grateful to be part of an amazing team of employees at BCBSNM, who are committed to serving our members, providers and communities.”
“Janice’s deep knowledge of the health care industry and commitment to the state of New Mexico will serve BCBSNM well,” said Jeff Tikkanen, senior vice President, HCSC Markets. “I thank Kurt for his exceptional leadership at BCBSNM over the years. Thanks to his work, BCBSNM is in a strong position to continue serving our members.”
A native New Mexican with nearly 30 years of experience, Torrez will now lead one of New Mexico’s largest health insurers. Born and raised in the North Valley in Albuquerque, she and her husband, Sam, have one child and two grandchildren. She enjoys spending time at her family cabin in Chilili, New Mexico.
Torrez has served on many local community boards. She most recently served as immediate past chair of the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry’s Board of Directors. She is also the immediate past chair of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation’s Board of Trustees. Torrez was appointed in 2016 and continues to serve on the Health Information System Act Committee. Torrez was also recently appointed to serve as a board member of the New Mexico Health Insurance Exchange.
Shipley will continue in a leadership role, working closely with Torrez on a comprehensive transition plan until his retirement.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico is one of the largest commercial health insurers in New Mexico with 630,000 New Mexicans carrying a Blue Cross and Blue Shield card. Since 1940, BCBSNM has been committed to promoting the health and wellness of its members and communities through accessible, cost-effective, quality health care. BCBSNM is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, the country’s largest customer-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.