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North Dakota Blues import new CEO from New York

Paul von Ebers

FARGO - Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota has named Paul von Ebers as Chief Executive Officer of the state's largest private health insurer.

Von Ebers most recently worked with Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield and Universa health plans in New York, serving first as senior vice president of marketing and later as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Though von Ebers' most recent job was in New York, a press release sent out by BCBSND touted him as having deep roots in the midwest. Before taking the job in New York, von Ebers worked for BCBS organizations in Iowa and Chicago. He also holds an MBA in finance and hospital administration from the Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.

Via press release Dennis Elbert, BCBSND Board chairman, said "We identified strict qualifications for the next leader of our member-owned company. We're happy to say that von Ebers exceeds these qualifications and we are confident he brings the right mix of proven leadership, experience and acumen to the role. We're unanimous in our choice."

The press release also stated that von Ebers has a reputation for building effective teams and creating collaborative relationships with employees, members and insurance regulators.

"Health care costs are on the top of every North Dakotan's mind. In this role I'm committed to working side-by-side with health care providers and regulators to control costs without sacrificing the high quality care North Dakotans receive today," said von Ebers. "Based on the impressive team that's already in place at BCBSND, I'm confident we can make that happen."

The board dismissed the previous CEO, Mike Unhjem, following a public uproar over a reward trip for top sales representatives at a luxury resort in the Caribbean.

Tim Huckle, executive vice president of health operations, has served as interim president and CEO since March.