TriWest Selects Michael Unhjem As Chairman Of The Board

PHOENIX, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- TriWest Healthcare Alliance’s Board of Directors has selected Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota President and CEO Michael B. Unhjem to succeed Robert Bulla as chairman of the board. Unhjem has been a TriWest director since the company was formed in 1996.

“We’re extremely fortunate to have Mike in this key leadership role,” said TriWest President and CEO David McIntyre. “Mike knows our company very well and shares our vision to serve America’s finest. We have benefited from his insight, experience and leadership during his eight years as a director. Mike is well suited to carry on the good work of Bob Bulla.”

Bulla, who retired this year, was the company’s first and only chairman since inception. He served in forming the company in 1996, winning the $10 billion Department of Defense TRICARE West Region contract in August 2003, and beyond as TriWest doubled in size last year to service the new contract.

Unhjem joined Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota in 1986 as legal counsel and vice president of corporate affairs. He was named assistant to the president and general counsel in 1989 and was elected president and CEO in 1991. A graduate of Jamestown College, he earned his law degree from the University of North Dakota School of Law. While attending college, at age 21 he became the youngest person ever to be elected to the N.D. House of Representatives, where he served for 12 years. A former president of the National Mental Health Association, he was chairman of the board of the national Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association from 2001-2002.

About TriWest

TriWest Healthcare Alliance is a Phoenix-based corporation that partners with the Department of Defense to provide access to cost-effective, high- quality health care for 2.7 million members of America’s military family in the 21-state TRICARE West Region, which is comprised of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and western Texas. For more information, visit

TriWest Healthcare Alliance

CONTACT: Elizabeth Perrine of TriWest Healthcare Alliance,+1-602-644-8356,