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Patrick Springer, Published December 19 2012

Gulleson takes VP post at ND Blue Cross Blue Shield

FARGO – Pam Gulleson, a former state legislator and long-time congressional aide, will be vice president of public affairs for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota.

Gulleson, who was the Democratic candidate in the November election for the U.S. House seat won by Republican Kevin Cramer, will start her position Jan. 7, the health insurer announced Wednesday.

“Pam brings extensive experience in legislative policy, strategy and allied health education – together with a strong track record for building bipartisan relationships – that will be critical to our advocacy on behalf of our members,” Paul von Ebers, president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota, said in a statement.

The new position was created to oversee public affairs strategy as well as government relations at both the state and federal level.

Part of the impetus for the new position was the implementation of federal health reform, the Affordable Care Act, said Denise Kolpack, the North Dakota Blues’ senior vice president of communication and public affairs.

“Obviously I’m excited to join Blue Cross Blue Shield,” Gulleson said. She said she will work to ensure that the health reform law is implemented in a way that is good for members and health providers.

Gulleson, who has a farm and ranch with her husband, served in the North Dakota House of Representatives for 16 years. She also served as chief of staff for former Sen. Byron Dorgan for nine years, until his retirement in 2010.

She earned an undergraduate at North Dakota State University in nutrition in education, and completed masters’ coursework in public policy administration. She worked as a nutritionist in Sargent and Ransom counties for almost 20 years.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522