Letter from the President

Hi, I’m Karen Atwood, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois.

Health care in Illinois – and across America – is evolving rapidly. What isn’t changing is Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois’ dedication to the people and the Illinois communities we serve. We began right here in Chicago as a way to help people with the burden of medical bills during another tough time.

It was 1936, in the depths of the Great Depression. And, in the span of these 77 years of our existence, we have provided charitable support to countless community partners and organizations.

Like many of us here at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, I was born and raised in Illinois, and I’m proud to call Chicago my home. We’re part of Illinois. It’s where we work and where we live.

We are your friends, your families, your neighbors… and so, while it’s true that we’ve always taken pride in investing in our communities’ needs, it’s never been about simply writing checks. No. It’s also about giving our time and talents to help make Illinois a better place.

Just this past year for example:

  • Clinical and professional staff provided advice and leadership for community health clinics;
  • And, we invested millions to turn back the tide of diabetes and childhood obesity plaguing neighborhoods in need.

The story doesn’t end here, though; it’s just the beginning. I hope you enjoy this overview of our community efforts as much as I’ve enjoyed being a part of many of these projects. We see the work illustrated on these pages as doing good – doing the right things for the right reasons. It’s who we are.

We don’t answer to shareholders – we’re member-owned. And our outlook is one of optimism and confidence. There is always more that can be done, but together, working community by community, partner by partner, we’ll continue to do our part to make Illinois a better place for all of us.