matt burns

Health Care Service Corporation, the operator of Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Illinois, Montana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, has named political and healthcare comms veteran Matt Burns as VP and chief communications officer.

Based in Chicago, Burns is overseeing communications for the health plans in the five states. The chief communications officer position, reporting to SVP and chief brand officer Joel Farran, is a newly created role, according to an HCSC spokesperson.

“I look forward to helping advance the thoughtful vision set by HCSC’s CEO and leadership to improve access to quality, affordable healthcare,” Burns said in an emailed statement. “My new colleagues and I are focused intently on aligning our marketing and communication programs to more effectively connect stakeholder engagement and stakeholder actions,  contributing to deeper and more meaningful relationships with all.”

Burns previously worked at UnitedHealth Group, where he spent four years as VP of communications before serving as VP of external communications. Prior, Burns was MD and U.S. Southwest market leader at Burson-Marsteller, communications director for the 2008 Republican National Convention, press secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs, and spokesman for former New York Governor George Pataki.

Burns’ former role at UnitedHealth Group has not been filled, according to a company spokesperson.

Health Care Service Corporation is the fourth-largest health insurer in the U.S., with more than 15 million members and $36.8 billion in revenue as of the end of 2017.