Dr. Monica Berner, president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana. (Courtesy: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana)

(HELENA) Montana’s largest health insurance provider has a new leader.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana announced Monday that Dr. Monica Berner will become its next president.

“I am humbled and excited to build on our past successes and celebrate innovation as we continue to navigate the ever-changing health care environment,” Berner said in a statement. “We are dedicated to making the health care system work better and to making Montana a healthier place to live, work and play.”

Berner has worked for BCBS for eight years, most recently as chief medical officer and medical director. Before that, she worked at Lewis and Clark County’s community health center and as a staff physician at the Fort Harrison VA hospital.

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Company leaders say Berner is the first physician and second woman to serve as president since Blue Cross and Blue Shield merged in 1986.

Berner is replacing former president Mike Frank. Frank will continue to oversee health plans in Montana as senior vice president of Tri-State Plans for Health Care Service Corporation, BCBS’s parent company. He received the promotion last year, but continued serving as BCBS president until Berner took over.

BCBS employs more than 400 people in Montana and provides health insurance for almost 300,000 people around the state.

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