PORTLAND, Ore. – Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon has named Dr. James (Jim) Polo as its executive medical director. Dr. Polo, who currently leads behavioral health and substance abuse efforts for Regence, will expand his role to oversee medical cost stewardship activities for Oregon, driving health care affordability initiatives and engaging key employers and providers to enhance the quality of care for members throughout the state.

In his 18-month tenure at Regence, Dr. Polo has developed and overseen a comprehensive behavioral health and substance abuse strategy in alignment with providers and community partners to deliver more integrated, high-quality care. As Oregon’s largest health insurer, Regence has reduced opioid prescriptions by 39 percent since 2015.

In addition to Dr. Polo’s expertise in behavioral health, he brings over 25 years of experience as a practicing physician, as well as in executive leadership positions for hospitals and physician groups that specialize in medical, surgical, and pediatric services. Dr. Polo has served as a policy adviser to the Secretary of the Army at the Pentagon and worked as a consultant on health care reform in the private sector.

“Dr. Polo’s deep knowledge, passion and commitment have helped Regence transform our approach to behavioral health and addiction treatment in service to our members,” said Angela Dowling, president of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. “I’m excited to see him continue this important work while expanding his role to more broadly serve our employer and provider communities.”

“My goal is to improve the health and well-being of Oregonians in partnership with providers across our state,” said Dr. Polo. “By working closely with doctors and hospitals through agreements that hold each of us accountable, we can achieve better outcomes for our members and make Oregon the model for a more effective and affordable health care system.”

Dr. Polo attended college at West Point in New York and received his medical degree from the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Maryland. He also holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Colorado.

About Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon, headquartered in Portland, has been serving Oregonians since 1941 and now provides more than 750,000 members with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, Regence is part of a family of companies dedicated to transforming health  care by delivering innovative products and services that change the way consumers nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/regencebluecrossblueshield, or twitter.com/regenceoregon.