MARSHALL, Texas — Today marks 25 years since Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) opened a customer service center in Marshall, Texas, the third location in an expansion plan to better serve a membership that has now grown to more than 6 million members across Texas and beyond.
The Marshall Full Service Unit opened Sept. 15, 1997, with 150 employees to support providers and various member needs. Since then, the location has grown to include more than 430 individuals, as well as an additional 270 telecommuters.
Patty Escoe, BCBSTX VP for Plan Operations, served as site director in the Marshall Office for six years.
“As Texas’ largest health plan, it’s important for us to have a presence in communities throughout the state to provide the kind of service that’s at the heart of this company’s values,” Escoe said. “Our Marshall Office has established itself as an employer that truly cares for its team members and the surrounding community.”
Twenty of the initial Marshall Office hires still work at the site. They will be honored for their 25 years of service during an upcoming Sept. 22 anniversary celebration with special guest Wendy Dell, the original BCBSTX site manager, and local dignitaries.
"I look forward to celebrating this major milestone for so many members of our community,” said Mayor Amy Ware. “Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas has provided many residents of Marshall and Harrison County with career opportunities and advancements right here in their own communities."
The Marshall Office ranks among the city’s top 5 employers, a distinction made largely from association with the Marshall Economic Development Corporation (EDC). After moving into the former Kmart location at the Marshall Mall, BCBSTX invested more than $3 million to revitalize the space.
“The addition of BCBSTX was a huge win for Marshall and for the company. The investments and employment are estimated to add $40 million to local economy annually, in direct and indirect benefits,” said Rush Harris, Executive Director of Marshall EDC. “Twenty-five years adds up to a great boost in local employment, wages and the tax base. We are better because of it.”
In addition to investing in its employees by implementing comprehensive training programs and offering competitive salaries with benefits, the Marshall employees are also active in the community and surrounding non-profits.
“It’s been an honor for us to play a contributing role in the Marshall business community,” said Renea Oswalt, Senior Director of Customer Service and lead BCBSTX officer for the Marshall Office. “It’s also a great source of pride to see our team members actively support organizations like Mission Marshall and other local charities. We’ve worked hard to create an environment where our employees can make a difference both at work and in the communities where they live.”
Community service runs deeps, with two of the recent company-wide BCBSTX Volunteer of the Year recognitions going to Marshall Office employees. Oswalt received the distinction in 2016, and Provider Advocate Specialist Shrona Carter was honored in 2021 for her exceptional community service.
Last year, more than $15,000 in donations to Marshall-area non-profits and groups across Texas were a direct result of community service hours logged by Marshall Office employees.
About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) – the only statewide, customer-owned health insurer in Texas — is the largest provider of health benefits in the state, working with nearly 80,000 physicians and health care practitioners, and 500 hospitals to serve more than 6 million members in all 254 counties. BCBSTX is a Division of Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC) (which operates Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans in Texas, Illinois, Montana, Oklahoma and New Mexico), the country's largest customer-owned health insurer. Health Care Service Corporation is a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.