Martine Downs Pollard of Rogers has been named Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s vice president for the Northwest Arkansas market.
Pollard will be the company’s senior leader in Northwest Arkansas, working closely with local businesses, healthcare providers and community-based organizations from Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s new Northwest Arkansas Corporate Center in Springdale. She will work with the company’s sales and account managers while connecting with key business leaders and decision-makers as well as local government entities and staff.
She was recently executive director of both Community and Public Relations and Communications and Community Integration at Mercy Health System of Northwest Arkansas. Pollard has led government, business and community relations initiatives throughout her career, including serving as senior vice president for government affairs for the Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce and as a congressional staffer for former U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor.
“We are very excited to have Martine lead the expanding Arkansas Blue Cross team in Northwest Arkansas,” said Curtis Barnett, president and chief executive officer of Arkansas Blue Cross. “Her experience in healthcare and her focus on the community fits well with our mission to improve the health, financial security and peace of mind of the members and communities we serve.”
Pollard’s influence in Northwest Arkansas includes spearheading inclusive and collaborative COVID-19 healthcare communications, leading strategic communications surrounding a major healthcare investment, developing a leading nonpartisan government affairs division and more than 15 years as a resource to the Northwest Arkansas Council, which focuses on improving the region’s quality of life and economy.
“It is exciting to join Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield at such a pivotal time for healthcare in northwest Arkansas,” said Pollard. “Positively impacting communities and helping people have always been priorities for me. Arkansas Blue Cross’ decades-long commitment to improving the quality of life for all Arkansans makes it an honor to help lead their ongoing investment and expansion in our region.”
Pollard holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway. Martine and her husband, David, a longtime teacher and football coach at Bentonville High School, reside in southwest Rogers with their two young children.