By: Pam Kehaly, president and CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona

Life has changed in so many ways during the last four months, and it is still changing. We have been forced to adapt quickly and do things differently. This pandemic has offered a new lens through which to see our world and opened our eyes to new possibilities. We can lean in and take advantage of this fresh new view, or we can choose to use our old lens and simply do things as we have always done them. Four months ago I would have never been able to see a world where 97% of our 2,600 employees not only work remotely, but do an extraordinary job meeting our customers’ needs from their homes.

We have a window of opportunity to envision new ways to work and live better. At the same time, people are more open to change then they ever have been. This is a rare combination—the ability to see new opportunities, coupled with a willingness to embrace change. To ignore this window is to squander a unique, and possibly once in a lifetime, opportunity to drive positive and meaningful change beyond incrementalism.

Not in spite of, but because of the difficulties, the window is open. The disruption has created the opportunity to carry a can-do, innovative, and creative mentality forward. The energy typically required to manage change is now at our back.

In addition to quickly gaining expertise at conducting business on the small screen, at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona we are finding new ways to serve thousands and thousands of requests every day from hundreds and hundreds of locations. As we meet the needs of our members, we are listening in new ways and getting to know them from our homes, at times with the family pet in the background. And the human connection with our members continues to grow.

We are also keenly aware of what our team members need to move through this challenging time. This crisis has driven home the incredible importance of transparent and timely communication with our team. We are listening more and being even more attentive to the health of the whole person. We are supporting one another emotionally, so we can be there for customers who are feeling vulnerable and uncertain, for customers who need to manage their health, for customers who need to know that we waived all copays for COVID-19 testing and treatment, and for customers who need to know that their lifesaving care is covered.

We are in a time where good cultures get better and great cultures move to new heights. At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona, the window is open, the pets are in the background, on the desk, and occasionally on the keyboard…and the personal connectivity and the feeling of work family has never been greater.

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Posted by Annelise Patterson