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EPOLITO NAMED CEO FOR BLUE CARE NETWORK-HEALTH CENTRAL

 EPOLITO NAMED CEO FOR BLUE CARE NETWORK-HEALTH CENTRAL
 LANSING, Mich., Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- James C. Epolito of East


Lansing, Mich., has been named chief executive officer (CEO) of Blue Care Network-Health Central, succeeding Lee J. Lich, who accepted another position out of state.
 Epolito, 36, takes over day-to-day leadership of the 67,000-member health maintenance organization (HMO) after 13 years in a variety of positions with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan -- the parent corporation for Blue Care Network-Health Central. Approximately 500 health-care professionals and administrative staff are employed by Health Central, making it one of the top 20 employers in the Lansing area.
 "This appointment reflects the important role of Blue Care Network as the Blues meet customer demands for expanded managed care programs in the 1990s," said Richard E. Whitmer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan president and CEO, in announcing the change.
 Epolito has been vice president of Michigan Sales and Service, and Government Affairs for the Blues since 1987. Lich headed BCN-Health Central since 1981.
 William J. Braman, BCN-Health Central board chairman said, "We are very pleased someone of Jim's caliber will lead our management team. He has proven a strong supporter of Health Central initiatives as a member of our board, and will provide a strong liaison between Health Central and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan. His experience in the legislative arena, his abilities as a motivator, and his enthusiasm will help ensure our future success."
 Epolito said: "Leaders in government and business -- especially our customers -- see managed care as the core of health-care benefit plans of the future. I see this as a great opportunity to bring the know-how I've gained in marketing and government relations to BCN and become part of an organization which has been a pioneer in managed care in an important state community."
 Epolito also said, "This is an opportunity for me to return home to the Lansing area while my family is growing up. It's time to step away from the constant traveling involved in the governmental relations and marketing areas for a statewide, nationally prominent company like the Blues," he said.
 Epolito joined the Blues in 1978 as a legislative analyst. He later was promoted to director of legislative affairs before being named a vice president.
 He holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Michigan State University and is completing work on a master of public administration degree in health care from Western Michigan University. He was a four-year letter winner in football at MSU.
 Epolito was a member of the BCN-Health Central board from 1984-1988. He has been active in Lansing civic organizations and statewide groups, serving on the boards of Impression 5 Science Museum, the Michigan Festival, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Michigan Youth in Government. He also is a member of the Michigan Health Policy Forum and formerly served on the board of the Michigan Hospice Organization.
 Epolito and his wife Debbie, and their three daughters, have lived in East Lansing since 1973.
 -0- 12/18/91
 /CONTACT: Rudolph J. Defazio of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, 313-225-8113/ CO: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan;
 Blue Care Network-Health Central ST: Michigan IN: HEA SU: PER


DH -- DE019 -- 3435 12/18/91 13:00 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Dec 18, 1991
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