PORTLAND, Ore., June 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Regence employees, along with community leaders and friends and family of Richard "Dick" Woolworth, will celebrate Monday, June 5 when its "First Avenue Building" in downtown Portland is christened the R.L. Woolworth building. The dedication ceremony will take place at 4:30 p.m., on the steps of the newly named R.L. Woolworth building at 1621 SW First Avenue, Portland, Oregon. Woolworth joined Blue Cross of Oregon in 1971 as assistant vice president of Provider and Professional Relations. In the early 1980s, he personally oversaw the construction of the "First Avenue Building," which was intended as the new headquarters for Blue Cross of Oregon. However, the building's completion coincided with the merger of Blue Cross of Oregon and OPS-Blue Shield in 1983, so it became the initial headquarters for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oregon. In his 32-year career with Regence and its Oregon family of companies, Woolworth worked to create an organization that today is the region's largest not-for-profit health insurance carrier. In 1995, he founded The Regence Group that today covers Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies in Idaho, Oregon, Utah and Washington. "The Regence we know today -- with nearly 3 million members, 6,000 employees and 2005 revenues of $7.5 billion -- exists because of Woolworth's collaborative approach and a belief that we can accomplish more together than individually," said Mark Ganz, Regence president and CEO. Since his retirement from Regence in 2003, Woolworth has stayed active in his many corporate board and community activities. Christening the "First Avenue Building" in his name is a fitting way to recognize his significant contributions to, and leadership of, Regence and the Oregon community, said Ganz. About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon provides medical, dental and related coverage for about one million members in Oregon and in Clark County, Washington. It's part of the Regence Group, the largest affiliation of health plans in the northwest and intermountain states, collectively covering nearly three million people. The Regence Group and its affiliates are not-for-profit independent licensees of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Nearly one in three Americans has health care coverage through Blue Plans. For more information, visit www.or.regence.com.
SOURCE Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon