Regence Appoints Dr. James Polo as Medical Director to Lead Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Efforts | Blue Cross Blue Shield

Regence Appoints Dr. James Polo as Medical Director to Lead Behavioral Health and Substance Abuse Efforts

PORTLAND, OR – Today, Regence announced Dr. James Polo will join the organization as its first Medical Director focused on behavioral health. Dr. Polo will join a regional team of medical directors with an eye on strengthening and integrating the company’s behavioral health practices across the organization and in the community.

In this role, he will continue the company’s work to address substance abuse and the opioid crisis in the region. Regence has committed to reducing opioid prescriptions by 25 percent by 2020.

“Behavioral health and the opioid epidemic are at the forefront of issues impacting our members, our country and the health care system today” said Dr. Richard Popiel, Chief Medical Officer of Cambia Health Solutions. “Dr. Polo’s expertise and experience in this arena will allow us to amplify our efforts to curb opioid abuse and address behavioral health for people and their families.”

Dr. Polo brings over 20 years of experience and previously served as Chief Medical Officer and senior psychiatric physician for Western State Hospital in Washington. He led development and oversight of psychiatric services in various military hospitals, served at the Pentagon as the Health Policy Advisor to the Secretary of the Army, and helped orchestrate complex care delivery for a children’s health care network in Washington state. Dr. Polo attended college at West Point in New York, and received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Maryland. He also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Colorado.

Dr. Polo resides in Tacoma, Washington with his wife, Kathy, and will work in the company’s Tacoma office, at the heart of where the company was founded 101 years ago.

About Regence

Regence serves approximately 2.4 million members through Regence BlueShield of Idaho, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah and Regence BlueShield (select counties in Washington). Each health plan is a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com.

About Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

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 health care coverage for one in three Americans. BCBSA provides health care insights through The Health of America Report series and the national BCBS Health Indexsm. For more information on BCBSA and its member companies, please visit BCBS.com. We also encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out our blog.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 36 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.