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Horizon BCBS NJ Chairman Retires

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   March 17, 2021

Kevin Conlin, who previously served as the organization’s CEO, leaves behind a legacy that will "endure for years."

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) announced Monday the retirement of chairman Kevin Conlin.

Conlin, who previously served as the organization’s CEO, will be replaced by Horizon BCBSNJ board member Todd C. Brown, who has served on the board since 2012 and as lead director since 2018.

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"One of Kevin’s strengths is his ability to engage and inspire the people around him,” Brown said in a press release. “He won the confidence and admiration of his fellow Board Members just as he did the 5,500 employees he led to achieve so much for the company and the members we serve.”

Conlin, who has served Horizon BCBSNJ since 2012, has left a lasting impact on the communities the insurer serves that will "endure for years," according to the press release.

He joined the organization to lead its healthcare value strategy, where he drove efforts to "redefine" how Horizon works with doctors and hospitals to improve performance and outcomes, quality, and affordability in the healthcare system, and to improve the member experience.

Related: Horizon Earmarks $150M from Tax Cuts for Customer 'Relief'

Under Conlin's leadership, the organization entered multiple strategic and innovative partnerships and collaborations including partnering with Atlantic Health System, launching the OMNIA Health Alliance as well as Braven Health, a joint venture between Horizon BCBSNJ, Hackensack Meridian Health, and RWJBarnabas Health to offer Medicare Advantage plans to seniors.

"Kevin Conlin has played a major role in shaping and improving health care for the people of New Jersey. His work building innovative care delivery and payment models with the state’s leading health systems and physicians has produced transformative and sustainable benefits," Gary St. Hilaire, president and CEO of Horizon BCBSNJ, said in a statement. "That work earned him the trust and respect of those health leaders who shared his refusal to accept the status quo and who joined together to transform healthcare in New Jersey."

Conlin's retirement comes after a multi-year succession planning process that started in 2019. In April 2020, Conlin transitioned from president and CEO to his role as executive chairman.

Related: How Rural Hospitals and Health Systems Should Approach Succession Planning

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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