EAGAN, Minn. -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) and its parent company, Stella, have announced the appointment of Craig Samitt, MD, MBA as its new president and chief executive officer, effective July 30, 2018. "We're pleased to welcome Dr. Samitt, a health care industry veteran with a strong track record of delivering performance through growth, diversification, financial management, and innovation," said Michael Robinson, chair of the Board of Trustees. "During this time of health care transformation, we are confident that Craig possesses the experience, perspective, values and capabilities necessary to lead and grow our organization in the coming years. As the health care needs of our members evolve, Dr. Samitt's leadership will ensure our portfolio of companies continues to make a healthy difference in people's lives." Dr. Samitt has nearly 25 years of experience in health care leadership and transformation. He comes to Blue Cross from Anthem, Inc., where he most recently served as executive vice president and chief clinical officer. In this role, he was responsible for establishing, leading and executing the overall clinical vision and strategy for the second largest health insurer in the U.S. Dr. Sammitt was also responsible for advancing Anthem's portfolio of provider partnerships and payment innovation models, as well as improving patient outcomes and delivering value-based care. Dr. Samitt was recently honored by Modern Healthcare as one of the "50 Most Influential Physician Executives and Leaders" for 2018. "I'm honored and grateful to have the opportunity to lead an organization with such a strong commitment to delivering exceptional health care to the Minnesota community," said Dr. Samitt. "It will be a privilege to work alongside a talented team, collaborate with our provider partners, and continue the work of expanding our strategy and footprint to further our mission and set an example of all that health care can and should become in the future." An internal medicine physician by training, Dr. Samitt has worked across multiple sectors within the health care industry. Prior to joining Anthem, Dr. Samitt held a number of senior executive positions, including partner and global provider practice leader at Oliver Wyman; president and CEO of HealthCare Partners, a subsidiary of DaVita HealthCare; and president and CEO of Dean Health System Inc., one of the largest integrated health systems in the Midwest. Dr. Samitt is a nationally recognized health care policy expert and thought leader with a record of collaborating across the health care system to deliver higher-quality health care at a lower cost. He is a current board member of the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and a former commissioner on the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent agency that advises Congress on Medicare payment policy. Dr. Samitt holds an undergraduate degree from Tufts University, a medical degree from Columbia University and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. He completed a medical residency in Internal Medicine at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Samitt will assume the role of president and CEO from Kathleen Blatz, the organization's interim CEO since March 2018. "We thank Kathleen for her excellent leadership as interim president and CEO, continuing the momentum of the organization's key strategies during the search for a new leader," said Robinson. "We look forward to her continued support through her ongoing role on the Board of Trustees." About Blue Cross Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, with headquarters in the St. Paul suburb of Eagan, was chartered in 1933 as Minnesota's first health plan and continues to carry out its charter mission today: to promote a wider, more economical and timely availability of health services for the people of Minnesota. A nonprofit, taxable organization, Blue Cross is the largest health plan based in Minnesota, covering 2.9 million members in Minnesota and nationally through its health plans or plans administered by its affiliated companies. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, headquartered in Chicago. Go to bluecrossmn.com to learn more. About Stella Stella is a Minnesota-based company designed to nurture and scale differentiated businesses across the country to improve health in bold and innovative ways. Stella serves as the parent company for a number of entities that share a focus of making a healthy difference in people's lives, including the non-profit health insurer Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and its subsidiaries, and diversified affiliate companies including Further and ClearStone Solutions, Inc. Go to stellahealth.com to learn more.