Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Neighbors delivering food to another neighbor

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont is committed to creating an inclusive environment where employees respect, appreciate, and value individual differences, both among ourselves and in our communities. We believe our future success is dependent on our ability to effectively service and support the diverse healthcare needs of our members and the people of Vermont.

 To help us better serve various communities, we’re educating our employees about diversity and inclusion issues and fostering important dialogue around factors impacting Vermonters. We’re also supporting outside organizations that are working towards ending discrimination and racial violence.

Don George

 

"One of the enduring strengths of Vermont is the diversity of its people – diversity in ethnic and racial heritages, religious beliefs and cultural influences, as well as in life experiences and perspectives. At Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont we embrace and celebrate the strength of this diversity – not only in the population we serve but among our own employees.

We believe that when we recognize the richness of our differences it helps us understand our common needs and expectations as well. And that makes us better able to take care of each other, and more prepared to provide the kind of personal, caring service that our members both demand and expect."
- Don George, President and CEO

Our employees have formed a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council, which is heightening awareness and understanding of diversity and cultural competency. The council has worked for years to raise awareness and has recently worked to take things to the next level, building Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals into the company's Strategic Plan and sets annual goals and objectives. Council members also monitor progress and recommend modifications to company policies and practices.

Here are some of the specific things we’re doing:

  • We’re working with and supporting partner organizations in their efforts to address racial bias and health disparities in communities throughout Vermont.
  • We’ve pledged that our members who identify as LGBTQ will have continued access to health care without fear of discrimination.
  • Our ongoing support of LGBTQ issues includes support of Outright VT and other community groups We recently worked with the Pride Center of Vermont to offer a LGBTQ+ Best Practices training for employees.
  • We implemented the We CARE training program, developed to promote a culture of caring and to improve the skills we must use to create that experience for our members.
  • We’ve created a series of programs for our employees called “Listen to Learn: Exploring Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in Vermont” in which we highlight various cultural groups and issues, and encourage dialogue.
  • We provide interpreters for group benefits sessions with clients who have populations for whom English is not their first language. We also offer phone- based interpreter services for members when they interact with our employees.

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