COLUMBIA, S.C.-- BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina will promote two executives to top positions over BlueCross' major group division and Companion HealthCare when a key senior officer retires in June.

 Don Nystrom, senior vice president of the major group division, will retire effective June 1 after having been with the company for 15 years.

David Pankau, currently executive vice president and chief operating officer of Companion HealthCare, will replace Nystrom as head of major group, and Mary Mazzola Spivey, currently vice president of health services and managed care services at Companion HealthCare, will replace Pankau as head of Companion Healthcare.

 "Don Nystrom has served BlueCross and its customers with distinction during his many years with us and we wish him well in his retirement," said Thomas G. Faulds, BlueCross BlueShield division president.  "David Pankau has a great track record and is an excellent choice for the vital job of leading major group, and Companion HealthCare will continue to be in good hands under Mary Mazzola Spivey."

 In addition, Jim Hart, who oversees the BlueCross' group and individual division, will assume additional administration of two areas currently under major group -- the state of South Carolina employees health plan, which BlueCross administers for the state, and the federal employees program.The major group division serves companies with 50 or more employees. The group and individual division serves companies with 49 or less employees and South Carolinians who purchase their own insurance. Companion HealthCare, a licensed subsidiary of BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, is an HMO.

Pankau has been at Companion HealthCare for eight years and previously worked in BlueCross' government programs subsidiary. He holds a master's degree in public health and a bachelor's degree in health administration.

 Mazzola Spivey joined Companion HealthCare in 1991 and holds master's degrees in healthcare management and a bachelor's degree in nursing.



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