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Press Release

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island Welcomes Two New Executives

July 10, 2014

PROVIDENCE, RI  – Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) today announced  two new executives have joined the senior leadership team in marketing and sales as well as human resources. Melissa Cummings joined BCBSRI as Chief Marketing and Sales Officer and Richard “Dick” Kropp, EdD, has assumed the role of Chief Human Resources Officer.

“At a time when it is more important than ever to educate and engage our members and the larger Rhode Island community around healthcare issues, we are confident that Melissa, with her strong experience in the healthcare field, will bring the creativity, savvy and marketplace knowledge necessary to succeed in this role,” said Peter Andruszkiewicz, President and Chief Executive Officer at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

Ms. Cummings, a native Rhode Islander, joins BCBSRI from Aetna, where she most recently led Aetna’s national product organization supporting individual, small group and middle market businesses. Her responsibilities included product strategy and development as well as “go to market” product efforts to position sales teams to succeed in each of Aetna’s local markets across the country. Prior to her seven at Aetna, Ms. Cummings spent nine years with CIGNA Healthcare in a variety of operational, financial and strategic roles.

Ms. Cummings currently serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Connecticut’s Center for Healthcare and Insurance Studies, and serves as an alumni representative for the College of the Holy Cross. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Holy Cross and an MBA in Health Care Management from the University of Connecticut.

 “As one of the largest employers in Rhode Island, we are enormously proud of both our culture and the role our employees play in supporting member healthcare needs,” said Andruszkiewicz. “Dick recognizes the importance of cultivating and retaining talented team members and we look forward to his leadership in this area.”

With a human resources career spanning three decades, Dr. Kropp most recently served as Head of Human Resources for Lourdes Health System in Camden, New Jersey, where he led all HR functions including talent management and succession planning, compensation and benefits, employee health, labor and employee relations, and workers compensation.

Dr. Kropp has a Master’s Degree in Human Resources from Boston University, and Doctoral Degree in Humanistic Psychology from Boston University. He has also co-authored several books on human resource including Human Resource Planning and Development in Healthcare, Performance Management and Collaborative Leadership and Communicating in the Business Environment.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state’s leading health insurer and covers more than 550,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI, and like us on Facebook at

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 106 million members members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.