News Releases - 2013

May 8, 2013

Corbin Promotes Five at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas in Reorganization Focused on Success in the New Marketplace

Preparing the state’s largest health insurer for success in the new marketplace is the driving force behind a new organizational structure put in place by Andrew C. Corbin, president/CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The changes resulted in the promotion of five employees – three to vice president and two to senior vice president positions – along with new responsibilities for another current leader.

“This new structure recognizes that our marketplace is changing and we must change with it,” Corbin said. “There is a growing focus on health outcomes and wellness programs as insurers, providers and consumers work together to improve the health of Kansans in an effort to control health care spending, so we have a new leadership position in that area. In addition, the new structure more closely aligns our customer service activities with our individual and small group sales efforts to better prepare us for success in the coming exchange environment.”

Earning promotions are Michael Atwood, M.D., now vice president of medical affairs; Treena Mason, now vice president of external sales and marketing; and Bob Young, SPHR, now vice president of administrative services and human development. In addition, Matthew D. All and Fredrick D. Palenske were both promoted to newly created senior vice president positions. Shelley Pittman, previously the vice president of operations, was given additional duties overseeing individual and small group sales.

Dr. Atwood joined the company in 2009 as chief medical officer, a position that he continues to hold, after serving 13 years as medical director for the Cotton-O’Neil Clinic, where he also practiced family medicine. In his new role as vice president of medical affairs, he oversees a division committed to defining and resolving issues related to the medical care of all BCBSKS members. The medical affairs division is directly responsible for quality management, disease and case management, utilization management, precertification, medical review, health analytics and pharmacy programs.

Dr. Atwood earned a bachelor’s degree in human biology from the University of Kansas and a doctor of medicine degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine.

Mason brings more than 16 years of sales experience to her new role with the company she first joined in 1997 as a group consultant in the Dodge City district office. Most recently, she had served as regional manager of the Hutchinson Regional Marketing Office. In her new role as vice president and chief marketing officer, she directs the sales and retention efforts of health, dental, life and ancillary products to businesses with 10 or more employees. In addition, she oversees the company’s product development and marketing communications efforts.

A native of Sublette, Mason has previously served on the board for PrairieStar Health Center, a federally qualified health and dental center in Hutchinson that provides care on a financial need basis, and also supported United Way of Reno County and USD 313. She graduated from the company’s Blue University Leadership Quest program in 2010.

Young, who is among the company’s most tenured employees with nearly 40 years of service, is serving as vice president of a newly created division – administrative services and human development. In his role, he will provide leadership for all human resources functions (staffing, benefits, compensation, affirmative action/EEO, corporate health and wellness initiatives), as well as facilities management for all owned and leased properties (including purchasing, security, maintenance). In addition, he has executive oversight of the company’s workforce and leadership development program, which includes Blue University.

Young joined BCBSKS in 1974 and most recently served as director of human resources and facilities since 1989. He earned a bachelor’s in personnel administration from the University of Kansas, and has volunteered for Junior Achievement of Northeast Kansas since 1989.

In a newly created position of senior vice president, All provides executive leadership in the areas of legal services, corporate governance, information technology, systems and services, claims and corporate communications. He continues in his role as general counsel and corporate secretary.

All joined BCBSKS in 2006 as general counsel and vice president of legal services. Additional duties were added in 2007 as he became vice president of human resources and government relations. In 2009, he assumed oversight for workforce and leadership development and corporate communications when he became vice president of public policy and human development. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and his law degree from Yale Law School. Prior to coming to BCBSKS, he spent several years in private legal practice, and served in state government as assistant insurance commissioner and chief counsel to the Kansas governor.

Palenske, who has served as vice president of provider relations and medical affairs since 2007, is now senior vice president of provider and government affairs, and also has executive oversight for medical affairs. He provides leadership in all activities where the company interacts with health care providers, including contracting, reimbursement and the claims clearinghouse, as well as maintaining positive working relationships with elected officials and regulators at the federal and state level, including the Kansas Insurance Department.

Palenske joined the company in 1988, and has served as a contract specialist, manager of regulatory compliance, and director of regulatory compliance and legislative affairs. He earned two degrees at Washburn University, a bachelor’s in business administration with majors in management and finance in 1982 and a master’s in business administration in 1988. He currently serves on the board of directors for the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and Ichabod Scholarship Fund.

Pittman, who has served as chief operating officer since 2004, continues to lead the company’s customer service and membership areas, with new responsibility for guiding the individual and small group sales units. The individual sales unit assists members and prospects in both the under age 65 and the Medicare supplement markets who are seeking to purchase their own health, dental, life or ancillary insurance products. The small group unit works with business owners with one to nine employees who are interested in purchasing health, dental and life insurance for their employees.

Pittman brings 40 years of experience to her role at BCBSKS, having joined the company in 1972. After spending several years in customer service, she made the move to sales in 1981. She later became a senior group consultant marketing products to large businesses and was the company’s top selling representative for six of her seven years in that position. She then transitioned into management, serving as director of internal sales for 14 years before being promoted to vice president in 2004.

Rounding out the nine-person steering committee that is the decision-making body for strategic planning and oversight of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas are Bebo Lowery-Born, vice president of finance and chief financial officer, and Julie Hinrichsen, vice president of information services and chief information officer.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
For more than 70 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and is the state’s largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information, visit

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