Janice Torrez will become president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico on Jan. 1, the company announced last week.

She replaces Kurt Shipley, who is retiring after serving as president for eight years.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield is the second largest health insurance company in New Mexico, according to the state Office of the Superintendent of Insurance.

Torrez joined the company 12 years ago and has served as associate vice president of external affairs and chief of staff since 2012. She oversaw government relations and the overall planning, budgeting and administration at Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

Torrez led the company’s Medicaid growth and retention efforts when Blue Cross and Blue Shield was awarded a contract to administer the state's Medicaid managed care program. She oversees Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s community outreach efforts to expand access to health care for uninsured and low-income households.

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