Regence BlueShield of Idaho is announcing the promotion of regulatory affairs specialist Tara Harrison to the position of Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations. As director, Harrison will oversee all Idaho intergovernmental relations activities, including those with the executive branch, Legislature and Department of Insurance, while also overseeing business liaison efforts.
“We’re ecstatic to have someone of Tara’s caliber assume leadership of this key function for us,” said Regence BlueShield of Idaho President Mark Ruszczyk. “The skills, insights and passion she brings to the role will enable us to accelerate our efforts to transform health care through the thoughtful development and application of innovative policy solutions.”
"I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given to take this next step in my career,” said Harrison. "This remains a dynamic time for the broad health care industry, and I relish being able to leverage my background in public policy, government operations and issues advocacy to help advance the interests of all Idahoans for ever-improving health care experiences."
Harrison has been active in public policy and advocacy for more than 15 years, having worked with all levels of government, from municipal to international, and having served in all three branches of government.
Harrison has most recently served as Regence BlueShield of Idaho’s regulatory affairs senior specialist, advising on high priority issues including surprise billing, data interoperability, consumer price transparency and the company’s COVID-19 response. Prior to her time with Regence, she counseled the Utah Legislature as a staff attorney for health and human services and served as a U.S. Diplomat, working on health and human services matters with China and the European Union. For her work in China, Harrison was awarded that State Department’s prestigious Meritorious Honor Award.
In addition to her insurance background, Harrison is well versed in policy regarding social determinants of health as they impact individual and public health, including homelessness, migration, suicide prevention and adverse childhood experiences. She is passionate about driving policies that make high quality physical and mental health care accessible to individuals and families to improve their health outcomes and quality of life.
Harrison received her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and her law degree from the University of Utah. She clerked for the Honorable Matthew B. Durrant, Chief Justice of the Utah Supreme Court.
About Regence BlueShield of Idaho
Regence BlueShield of Idaho, based in Lewiston, has been serving Idahoans for more than 75 years with comprehensive health insurance solutions. As a nonprofit mutual insurance company and 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 in Idaho and nationwide experience health care. For more information, please visit regence.com, facebook.com/regenceblueshieldofidaho or twitter.com/regenceidaho.