M.D. Staff Vice President, Medical Director for Care Management Strategy & Development, WellPoint Inc., Cleveland, Ohio
There are many ways to fulfill the Hippocratic Oath. For Alena Baquet-Simpson, M.D., working on the business side of medicine is one of them for it impacts patients just as much as bedside care. “I’ve done both private practice and administration, but administration allows me to touch more people,” she says.
Baquet-Simpson joined Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, a health-care benefits company, in 1998 and held several positions in the company before being promoted to her current position in 2006. Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield merged with WellPoint in 2004. Since her 2006 appointment, Baquet-Simpson has overseen the company’s Care Management Program, which essentially educates its 35 million members about their benefits and encourages a one-on-one interaction between the nurse, doctor or member-provider. “I’m very passionate about this program because I believe that we are doing really good things for our members,” says Baquet-Simpson. “We are helping our company to be successful by finding a win-win: working with members to help them optimize their benefits and improve their health, [while at the same time] improving the overall costs of health care.”
She received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Loyola Marymount University and graduated with honors from Meharry Medical College. Board-certified in family medicine, she has been a part-time faculty member in the Department of Family Medicine at Case Western Reserve University since 1999. Although she had been in private practice for 11 years, she prefers medical administration because the schedule allows her to make time for her husband, who is a pediatrician, and their three children. “My husband and I attended more [of our children’s] games than some of the stay-at-home moms,” she says. And even if her children couldn’t see her in the stands, everyone could definitely hear her. “During my son’s football games, I would out-cheer the cheerleaders. They would look up at me first to make sure they were saying the right ones!”
Baquet-Simpson admits she is a sports fanatic, with the Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers her favorite football and basketball teams, respectively.