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Two Wellmark board members receive honors

Drs. Melanie Dreher and Therese Vaughan recognized for contributions to health care

April 7, 2014

Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield congratulates board members Drs. Melanie Dreher and Therese (Terri) Vaughan on their recent recognitions for their contributions to health care. Dr. Dreher was named one of the “40 of the smartest people in health care” by Becker’s Hospital Review. Dr. Vaughan received the Association of Professional Insurance “Woman of the Year” award.


“I am proud to see both Melanie and Terri recognized for their deep professional backgrounds and continued commitment and contributions to the health care industry,” said John Forsyth, Wellmark chairman and chief executive officer. “Our members benefit from having these two outstanding individuals serve on our Board of Directors.”


Dr. Melanie Dreher

Becker’s Hospital Review named Dr. Dreher one of the “40 of the smartest people in health care” because she is one of the most innovative thinkers in health care today, combining her nursing knowledge and humanities background to produce forward-thinking research. Dr. Dreher is Dean Emeritus of the College of Nursing at Rush University in Chicago, and she also chairs the board of Livonia, Mich.-based CHE Trinity Health, the second-largest Catholic health system in the United States. Previously, she served as nursing school dean at three other large state universities including the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where she established a professional master’s in nursing, which became a national model for professional nursing education. In addition to her role in education administration, she has had a distinguished research career as the principal investigator of several community-based studies examining the health and development of women and children in Jamaica. Her research interests also include cross-cultural studies of health care systems, the organization and financing of community health care, and the effects of substance use on the health, development and task performance in adults and children. She has published numerous books, reports and articles, and she is a leadership development consultant in healthcare and education.


Dr. Therese (Terri) Vaughan

The Association of Professional Insurance Women bestowed the Woman of the Year award to Dr. Vaughan. In addition to serving as Iowa’s Insurance Commissioner for 10 years, she was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) from 2009 to 2012. As CEO, Dr. Vaughan was responsible for overseeing operations of the NAIC, including offices in Kansas City, New York and Washington, D.C.  In addition, she was a member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS). Dr. Vaughan also has held a variety of positions in academia and regulation where she advised and mentored a number of aspirating actuaries and other professionals. She was the Robb B. Kelley Distinguished Professor of Insurance and Actuarial Science at Drake University, where she focused on the regulation and management of financial institutions. She was named one of the top 25 living legends in insurance by National Underwriter in 2012, one of the 100 most influential people in health care by Modern Healthcare in 2011.

Contact Wellmark Media Relations

Traci McBee
Phone: 515-376-4338


Teresa Roof
Phone: 515-376-5869


1331 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50309-2901

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