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Corporate Impact Award: CEO of the Year Award - Excellence in Leadership and Impact

The Corporate Impact Award: CEO of the Year – Excellence in Leadership and Impact honors a corporate chief executive officer who has been engaged with the American Cancer Society through personal commitments of time, talent and/or financial support, while facilitating the involvement of their employees, members and/or customers in support of the Society’s mission. In addition, this executive has served in a leadership position to help advance the American Cancer Society CEOs Against Cancer program.

Patrick J. Geraghty, president and chief executive officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, is the recipient of the 2011 Corporate Impact Award: CEO of the Year – Excellence in Leadership and Impact.

Geraghty is being honored for being a catalyst and decision maker regarding employee health and wellness issues, as well as for giving amply of his time and leadership skills and for encouraging his employee base and clients to actively support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is the state’s largest health plan, serving 2.7 million members in every statewide county, all 50 states and four continents, and reflecting membership among approximately 33 percent of all state residents.

Under Geraghty’s guidance to help people stay well, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota became the second Minnesota-based company to achieve the prestigious CEO Gold Standard for improving health and reducing the risk of cancer in the workplace – through tobacco-free environments, campus walking paths, on-site fitness facilities, healthy cafeteria choices and community gardens, where employees can grow their own vegetables. In addition, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is one of only 60 companies nationally that have received the Gold Standard recognition since its inception in 2006.

Geraghty has led the company to identify colorectal cancer as a corporate priority for the next three years and is spearheading the organization’s working relationship with physician groups in Minnesota to increase screening rates with large clinic systems. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota also is implementing comprehensive communications outreach with its health insurance plan members about the importance of colorectal cancer screening and the available options.

With Geraghty leading the charge, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota has also maintained a strong collaborative relationship with the American Cancer Society in advocating for public policy changes focused on improving public health. The company has pushed to protect the Freedom to Breathe Act, to educate policy makers on the health implications of tobacco use and secondhand smoke, and to advance public policy changes that seek to reduce the levels of childhood obesity in Minnesota. In addition, Geraghty and his leadership team have worked with the Society to advocate in support of preserving the Statewide Health Improvement Plan.