RICHARDSON, Texas, April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) has announced that former commissioner of the Texas Department of State Health Services (TDSHS) and the Texas Department of Health (TDH), Eduardo J. Sanchez, M.D., has been named vice president and chief medical officer of BCBSTX, effective May 30, 2008. Most recently, Sanchez served as the director of the Institute for Health Policy, School of Public Health, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. In his new role, Dr. Sanchez, who is a graduate of The University of Texas Southwestern Medical School at Dallas, with a master's in public health from The University of Texas Health Science Center and a master's in biomedical engineering from Duke University, will play a key part in helping BCBSTX fulfill its mission of improving the health and well-being of members and communities across the state. "We are pleased that Dr. Sanchez has joined the Blue Cross management team," says Darren Rodgers, president, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas. "Dr. Sanchez, who has been highly visible in the Texas health care community for many years, will oversee the Texas Division's medical policy and strategy as well as the company's new wellness initiative." Prior to taking the position at The University of Texas Health Science Center, Sanchez served from 2004 - 2006 as TDSHS commissioner, where he oversaw the operations of the 11,500-employee state agency responsible for public health, mental health and substance abuse, including Texas' health and medical responses to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As TDH commissioner from 2001 to 2004, Sanchez oversaw the development of the TDH bioterrorism preparedness operations following 9/11 and the anthrax scare, directed the agency's efforts to heighten awareness about overweight and obesity issues in Texas, and led the formation of the TDSHS from four agencies. He has received honors from many health-related organizations, such as the Texas Health Institute, American Heart Association and American Academy of Family Physicians. Currently, he is chair of the National Commission on Prevention Priorities, chair of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a member of numerous professional associations. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas -- the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas -- is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 40,000 physicians and 400 hospitals to serve 3.8 million members in all 254 counties. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC), the country's largest non-investor-owned health insurer and fourth largest health insurer overall. HCSC is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas