As those familiar with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation may already know, we fervently believe in creating movements for change. And we’ve just emboldened that focus with the addition of our Foundation’s new president, Michael Tipton, who came on board to lead us in new and evolving positive changes in the days to come.

And it’s with that goal in mind that Tipton has announced an upcoming “listening and learning” tour, where he’ll be criss-crossing the state in an effort to better understand the needs of our communities.Fresh Beginnings, Red Stick Mobile Farmers Market

“This Foundation already has an impressive history of bringing good things to bear for the people of Louisiana,” Tipton said during a recent chat to explain the tour’s purpose. “And it’s my great hope to keep that momentum going and growing. The best way to start is to get out in the community and get to know our partners. I want to hear about their experiences, their concerns and their hopes for a better, stronger Louisiana. It’s an important step in understanding how this Foundation can have the maximum impact on the lives of people in our state.”

Tipton will be talking to those intricately involved in our boldest and brightest programs, including Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana,

Day of Caring Team
Day of Caring Team

Angel Awards and Smart Bodies. But he’s also keen on meeting with community leaders from non-profits, schools and local governments, he said, in an effort to bring all voices to the table.

“This Foundation will continue to focus on health in Louisiana,” he said. “But that can mean a lot of different things to different people in different places. So I want to know how we can best be of help… Through a grant? As a collaborative partner? By spreading the word on great programs already going on?”

That’s why Tipton wants a conversation with as many folks as possible in Growing Local NOLA the coming weeks. As such, he’s urging community leaders to reach out to him directly to schedule a time to meet and be a part of the dialogue. He can be reached at

Adds Tipton, a life long Louisianian well steeped in the cultural traditions (for better or worse) of our great state, “Together, we can celebrate what’s best about Louisiana, while also tackling the things that aren’t best about Louisiana. And so, I’m excited to learn about where people are coming from and what they expect from us. There’s a lot of good work to be done and I can’t wait to get started.”

Martin leads a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the Sugar City Grower's new gigantic greenhouse.

A glimpse of Tipton’s touring schedule so far:

• Shreveport Area: July 15th – 17th
• Houma Area:  August 25
• New Orleans Area: July 30th – 31st
• Alexandria Area: August 4th – 26th
• Monroe Area: August 12th – 14th
• Lake Charles Area: September 2nd – 3rd
• Hammond/ North Shore Area: September 8th
• Lafayette Area: September 10th – 11th
• Baton Rouge: Ongoing



*All dates are subject to change given Foundation priorities and events.