By Tina Dirmann
BCBSLA Foundation Staff Writer
Not everyone is lucky enough to go to work every day confidant that what they do makes a difference. But for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation Executive Director Christy Reeves, changing lives for the better has been a way of doing business for the past eight years. Her mantra that “we can move the needle” on our state’s lackluster health statistics has served as a personal motivator and inspired many of us who have worked with her to do better things within our communities and across Louisiana.
Recently, Reeves announced she is leaving her post and moving on to a new challenge, this time in a position where she can do good works for people stretching even beyond Louisiana’s borders. The end of 2014 marks her official exit. But before she steps away, we invited members of our Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana grant team to offer up a few parting musings about Reeves. And what we got back were words of kindness, praise and heartfelt thanks for a co-worker, boss, community leader and friend.
Mrs. Reeves, we know you’ll be out there continuing to fight the good fight. But around here, you will be missed.
And now, a few words from a few friends:
“I think of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana as a uniquely Louisiana treasure. No one better embodies a commitment to Louisiana and its people than Christy Reeves. Her deep connections to this state and her desire to see Louisianians prosper made it fitting that she would lead the Foundation’s challenge grant program to combat childhood obesity. I can think of no better legacy than to begin what will hopefully be a series of successful, enduring community health activities.” Dr. David Carmouche, BCBS chief medical officer and executive vice president external operations.
On behalf of the CAPP/BREC on the Geaux II team, Christy has been a true visionary who has served as a beacon illuminating a brighter future for many people who will never know of her leadership and foresight. For each of us individually she has demonstrated compassion and strength and we know that she will always be a resource we can call on. We are heartened by the knowledge that Christy’s good works will reach new vistas.” Carl Stages, Capital Area Pathways Project.
“Christy is one of the hardest working and most creative philanthropists I’ve ever met. We connected the very first time we met as refugees from the theater world who believed in collaboration as a way of changing the world, and I consider her a comrade for life.” — Mat Schwarzman, Great Resources WhereY’at
“Christy relates to everyone she meets; she is the ultimate challenger and cheerleader. Her vision is unparalleled, and I think most would agree the entire state of Louisiana has benefitted because of it.” — Allison Tohme, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
“I’m thankful for Christy’s unique ability to combine vision with getting things done which makes her a terrific leader and I love her joyous sense of humor. She has made a very significant contribution to the work of One Great River, for which I will be forever thankful.” John Peter Bunce, Healthy Green & Into the Outdoors
“Christy’s awesome leadership not created a movement for social change in obesity related issues in Southwest Louisiana , but also inspired the grantees to think bigger, develop more, and create better partnerships . We appreciate the guidance from Christy that inspired the Dare to be Healthy team to develop nutrition and physical activity programming that has demonstrated success and sustainability. Additionally we appreciate the way that Christy has always put us at ease with her quick wit and charm, often telling us that we were all learning together.” — Jennifer Burris, Dare to be Healthy
“I consider very few people good “bosses,” but Christy is that and more. She’s a leader who makes me feel like she cares about me personally, and how I can improve professionally. When something went “wrong”- and they did- she always framed it as a learning experience. When something went right, she gave credit where credit was due, which so few leaders do. As I have said to our team from the beginning, as we were feeling our way through the challenges associated with this Challenge Grant, “we are so lucky that Christy is the BCBSLAF Executive Director.” I think our younger or less experienced team members will see that it has been a once in a lifetime experience, for the most part, due to her.” —Denese Vlosky, Pennington Biomedical Research Center
“Christy’s support and enthusiasm for our Challenge Grant project has been very important to us. We know her interest and help in building a healthier environment in our community will leave a lasting mark on New Iberia.” Evelyn Ducote, West End Healthy & Wellness
“Christy’s dedication to health and wellness is notable in both her personal and professional lives. During a conference we attended together in Sante Fe, NM, to highlight our Challenge Grant project (Growing LA) – she reminded me to always take some time to unwind – be it by enjoying a glass of wine in the evening with colleagues, hitting up the pool at the hotel or getting a haircut at a new local salon. We can’t promote health and wellness if we aren’t well ourselves!” Marianne Cufone, Growing LA
“Christy has always been visionary and I’d like to believe some of that magic has rubbed off on me over the last 3 years. She has continually shown me what great leadership looks like and has challenged me to stretch beyond my comfort zone to embark on new adventures. As this chapter closes I wish her well on the next leg of her journey and leave her with this quote by T.S. Eliot: ‘For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.’ ” Lydia Martin, BCBSLAF strategic initiatives manager
MORE TO COME FROM REEVES HERSELF IN OUR NEXT BLOG POST…