Director Blue Health Initiatives
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas
Virginia Barnes has been serving as the director of Blue Health Initiatives for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas since October 2015. Blue Health Initiatives formalized the company's long-time efforts to improve the health and quality of life of all Kansans. The term ‘social determinants of health’ is more than just a buzz phrase for Virginia – her work is dedicated to moving the needle on health inequities across the state and improving quality of life for all Kansan. Blue Health Initiatives has distributed more than $25 million since its inception to improve the quality of life for all Kansans. Virginia has over 15 years of public health experience, having worked for the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) in a variety of roles prior to joining Blue Cross. She earned a bachelor's in biology from Washburn University and a master's in public health from the University of Kansas. Barnes currently serves on the Kansas Public Health Association Board, the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice, and numerous advisory committees focused on improving health in Kansas. She is a lifelong Kansan and lives in Topeka with her husband and two children.