As a former college athlete, Gail Boudreaux attributes her leadership style and philosophy to what she learned playing sports in her youth: identifying your purpose, set goals and work to achieve them by building skills. Today, the former Dartmouth College All American leads one of the nation’s largest health companies and is a 2022 NCAA Theodore Roosevelt Award recipient.
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Gail Boudreaux, President and CEO, Anthem, Inc. (Photo: AJ Mast)
The highest honor the NCAA may award to an individual, the “Teddy” is presented annually to a distinguished citizen of national reputation and outstanding accomplishment. A standout basketball player and track and field athlete at Dartmouth from 1978-82, Boudreaux fought through injury to earn three consecutive Ivy League Player of the Year honors. That experience served as the foundation for her rise to success on and off the court/field.
“Sport teaches you there’s always another move. You might have the best plan, mapped out every step and still fail,” said Boudreaux. “When that happens, being flexible and having an open mind helps you come back better the next time. There’s always more you can do.”
More indeed. Boudreaux began her career in a healthcare in a management training program and continued advancing her career, ultimately joining Anthem as President and CEO in 2017. She is frequently featured in Fortune Magazine’s “50 Most Power Women in Business” and Forbes magazine’s “100 Most Power Women in the World.”
And while her parents did not have a sports background, Boudreaux credits them with instilling in her strong values and work ethic. Now leading a team of 90,000 employees who serve 45 million consumers and the communities where they live and work, she relies on sports principles and her family foundation daily.
“With our purpose to improve the health of humanity and deep ties to communities, no company can make an impact like Anthem,” Boudreaux added. “Whether we’re volunteering or executing on our business strategy, what we do each day makes a positive difference in peoples’ lives. It’s an opportunity and responsibility, and it gives me great energy.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge like no other however, under Boudreaux’s leadership Anthem quickly mobilized to address the need by committing $2.6 billion dollars in financial assistance to ease burdens created by the pandemic for consumers, employers and care providers.
In addition to treatment and testing, the company is also focused on vaccinations. Anthem covers the COVID-19 vaccine 100% and has been proactive in connecting its members with information on how they can access vaccines in their own communities, including coordinating in-home vaccinations for homebound members.
The Anthem Foundation, the company’s philanthropic arm, made a $50 million commitment for COVID-19 response and recovery efforts to help in the areas of greatest need including emergency response, food insecurity, mental health and care provider safety resources. Anthem also launched a nationwide partnership with Lyft to support universal access to the vaccine.
About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem is a leading health company dedicated to improving lives and communities, and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves more than 117 million people, including more than 45 million within its family of health plans. Delivering health beyond healthcare, Anthem is expanding from being a partner in health benefits to a lifetime, trusted health partner. For more information, please visit www.antheminc.com or follow @AnthemInc on Twitter.
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