Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico names new Medicaid VP - Albuquerque Journal

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico names new Medicaid VP

Nancy Smith-Leslie

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, one of New Mexico’s largest health insurers, on Monday named a new vice president for its Medicaid arm in Nancy Smith-Leslie.

Smith-Leslie is not new to the state, nor is she new to working on Medicaid related projects. She has more than 20 years of health care expertise, most recently as a consultant for Sellers Dorsey where she provided strategic guidance to state-run Medicaid programs and managed care organizations.

Most notably, though, is Smith-Leslie’s past run with the New Mexico Human Services Department. From 2015 through 2018, she served as the state’s Medicaid director — part of a 14-year career with the department.

“I’m very excited to be in this role (with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico),” Smith-Leslie told the Journal. “I’ve always respected Blue Cross’ commitment to New Mexico communities. … It’s the perfect fit.”

In Smith-Leslie’s new role, which began Monday, she will oversee BCBSNM’s “strategic direction and overall operations for the New Mexico Medicaid division.” She will also be based out of the health care insurer’s office in Albuquerque.

Smith-Leslie’s appointment comes at a time when the Medicaid continuous coverage established during the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to end at the end of this month. Her most immediate job is guiding the health care insurer’s outreach efforts to its customers through a partnership with human services as well as the state’s health insurance exchange, beWellnm.

“It’s all hands on deck,” she said.

But her appointment also comes as human services is starting over the procurement process for new managed care organizations for the state’s Medicaid program next year. HSD has since hired a Medicaid expert to make recommendations regarding the procurement process and timeline, which is expected in the coming months.

Asked if BCBSNM planned on resubmitting a proposal for the new procurement, Smith-Leslie said “yes.”

Smith-Leslie first got her start in health care with the state in 2000, working on a grant-funded project that aimed to link school-based health centers with MCOs. She left in 2002 and came back to work under former Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration, helping with the creation of a Medicaid coverage expansion program for adults, she said.

“As a longstanding Medicaid provider in New Mexico, we are pleased to have Nancy Smith-Leslie join our team, as we leverage her experience and expertise to provide the best care and services to our members,” Janice Torrez, BCBSNM president, said in a statement. “We are committed to New Mexico and all our members and having Nancy on our team will help drive that forward.”

Home » ABQnews Seeker » Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico names new Medicaid VP

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories

Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages


Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
Trump says he's been indicted in classified documents investigation; ...
ABQnews Seeker
MIAMI (AP) -- Donald Trump said ... MIAMI (AP) -- Donald Trump said Tuesday he's been indicted on charges of mishandling classified documents at his Florida estate, igniting a federal prosecution ...
In the green: Restaurant inspections for May 27 - ...
ABQnews Seeker
Every restaurant was in the green ... Every restaurant was in the green in the May 27-May 21 restaurant inspections, including Smith's on Eubank.
State judge upholds NM secretary of state's authority to ...
ABQnews Seeker
A state judge on Thursday rejected ... A state judge on Thursday rejected a challenge to Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver's authority to determine whether New Mexico laws targeted for ...
Northbound I-25 closed at Jefferson after person fatally struck
ABQnews Seeker
Northbound Interstate 25 was shut down ... Northbound Interstate 25 was shut down at Jefferson Thursday afternoon after a driver fatally struck a person on the highway.
Crews work to extinguish fire in the Sandias
ABQnews Seeker
Albuquerque residents may see some smoke ... Albuquerque residents may see some smoke on the westside of the Sandias as crews work to extinguish a fire in the Upper Bear Canyon ...
New Mexico rolls out education campaign for recreational marijuana ...
ABQnews Seeker
The first batch of billboards is ... The first batch of billboards is now going up around the state while TV, radio, print and digital advertisements will be running through the ...
Colorado's most destructive wildfire caused by embers from old ...
ABQnews Seeker
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Embers from ... BOULDER, Colo. (AP) -- Embers from a smoldering scrap wood fire set days earlier outside a home used by a Christian religious communal group ...
Albuquerque Regional Economic Alliance, CBRE highlight metro area’s diverse ...
ABQnews Seeker
"This report, updated annually, has become ... "This report, updated annually, has become one of our top economic development publications used to articulate our value proposition and market the region to ...
Social Distortion postpones summer tour including Albuquerque date
ABQnews Seeker
Legendary band Social Distortion is postponing ... Legendary band Social Distortion is postponing its planned summer tour. This includes a date at Revel ABQ on Aug. 8. On Wednesday, the band ...