Events:

Laura Stout

Director Contract Operations, Network Management & Operations and President, Empowering Abilities Employee Resource Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA

Laura Stout is Director of Contract Operations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts leading an operations team responsible for the implementation and maintenance of provider contracts. Laura is President of Empowering Abilities, the company’s disability inclusion Employee Resource Group. This cross-functional team of associates and leaders is dedicated to promoting and evolving disability awareness and programs company wide. In July 2019, Blue Cross was named one of the Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion and received a score of 90 on the 2019 Disability Equality Index. This award reflects the continuous efforts to create a safe and inclusive workplace for associates of all abilities. April 2016, Blue Cross received the Springboard Consulting Disability Business Resource Group Award of Excellence which recognizes leadership’s commitment to inclusion, and the company’s accountability and dedication to creating an accessible and equitable workplace. She has held previous director roles at Blue Cross in the Provider Education and communications team and in the Executive Office, where Laura supported the company’s Chief of Staff and the President and CEO in executing a variety of business and organizational activities. Laura has also graduated from the company’s 24-month Finance Leadership Development Program. Laura is a strong advocate for the disability community, bringing a passionate voice and working closely with those who are disabled to achieve their personal and professional goals. She’s been actively involved in the Disability In Work Without Limits Executive and Business Advisory Board which is a statewide network of engaged employers and innovative, collaborative partners that aim to increase employment among individuals with disabilities.

Continuing her efforts to advocate for Massachusetts residents, Governor Charles Baker appointed Laura to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination Advisory Board in September 2018. The Commission is focused on eradicating discrimination in the Commonwealth by investigating and prosecuting complaints of discrimination that occur in employment, housing, public places, access to education, lending, and credit.  Attorney General Maura Healey appointed Laura to the Disability Rights Advisory Committee. The committee is comprised of advocates and experts who consult with and advise AG Healey and her staff on matters pertaining to inclusion, access, and equality for individuals with disabilities.

Laura was honored by Blue Cross in May 2019 with the Excellence in Service award. This is the pinnacle award who has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to service both internally and externally and embodies the core values of inclusion, compassion, and leadership. Laura was recognized by Working Mother magazine’s as a Working Mother of the Year for 2019. This award is given to a select number of working moms who continue to exceed all expectations both inside and outside of the workplace.

Laura is a member of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy / Brandeis Heller School for Social Policy and Management Parent Empowerment Project Advisory Group. The committee’s mission is to address knowledge gaps regarding the experiences, strengths and challenges of parents with diverse disabilities and their families through exploratory population-based research to inform policy, practice and advocacy.  Laura works with Little People of America, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides support and information to people of short stature and their families. Laura is parent mentor in the Massachusetts Family Ties Program, a network for families and professionals supporting children and youth with special needs.  At home, Laura and her husband Therin enjoy parenting their two kids.