At Regence BlueShield, we look to our own employees to live and own our Cause of transforming health care, creating a person-focused and economically sustainable system. For us, transformation starts from the inside out. To carry on our tradition of “walking the talk,” our employee resource groups are formed by employees with a passion for ensuring we do just that, including our LGBTQ group, PRIDE.
PRIDE’s energy and leadership has helped shape Regence’s culture of inclusion. As PRIDE’s executive sponsor, Chip Terhune knows the synergy generated by this active employee resource group. “Regence’s own employees are our most effective ambassadors and advocates, inside and outside our organization,” says Terhune. “Being empowered and encouraged to celebrate our diversity within the company helps us reflect and better serve our customers and our community.”
The group’s mission is to broaden awareness and acceptance of our LGBTQ community, open lines of communication, and increase understanding, emotional support and camaraderie among our Regence staff. Participation in PRIDE has grown to 60 members in two years. This dedicated volunteer team recently provided $2,500 (if referencing community support funds, the amount is $2,000) on behalf of the company for LGBTQ organizations in our Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Utah markets, including GSBA in Seattle, Youth Care in Seattle, The Q Center in Portland, Utah Pride Center, Navos Mental Health Solutions.
However, PRIDE’s reach spans beyond community outreach. The group’s advocacy has illuminated the critical work to be done in addressing serious health equity issues in our region, particularly for LGBTQ patients. A recent study discovered that 28 percent of LGBTQ patients postponed medical care because they feared discrimination from medical providers. Regence hopes to empower our members to find the culturally-competent care they need. The ‘My Community’ feature on our website regence.com, allows for secure conversations among our diverse community of members to empower personalized healthcare decisions.
Through our employee resource groups – and PRIDE specifically – Regence employees feel empowered to speak out about issues, elevate them to the teams that can innovate solutions, and roll out meaningful, person-focused processes and products for our customers and members.