Retired Premera CEO joins Music4Life board

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Betty Woods joins the Board
of Music4Life

Betty Woods, the former President/CEO of Premera Blue Cross, has joined the corporate governing board of Music4Life™, the non-profit organization that acquires musical instruments for use by students from low income families in the Seattle, Highline and Shoreline school systems.

“Betty also is Chair of the Board of Trustees of Seattle University,” says David Endicott, President of Music4Life, “so we feel especially fortunate to have her join our efforts for the education of young musicians in local public schools.”

When Woods retired in 2000 from Premera Blue Cross, it had become under her leadership a $1.9 billion health care company serving more than a million people in Washington, Oregon and Alaska.  It was formed by the merger of Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska (Blue Cross), Medical Service Corporation of eastern Washington (Blue Shield) and LifeWise of Oregon (a health and life insurance company).

“We particularly value her as a strategist,” Endicott says of Woods.  “In this economy, low income families are everywhere. The goal of Music4Life is to help these families get over the very first barrier they encounter, the acquisition of the musical instrument itself.  Many families can’t even afford to rent one.” If the candidates for our help are everywhere, that’s where we want to go, he says.

Research now shows that kids who study instrumental music do better in math, science, history, literature, languages (both foreign languages and English) and in other scholastic disciplines. Kids who come from families that can’t even afford to rent a musical instrument are in danger of not getting a full, basic education. “So, in a very real sense, Music4Life is more than just a ‘music program.’ It’s an ‘education program,’” Endicott says.

Music4Life acquires used musical instruments from adults who no longer use them, gets them fully repaired and donates them free-of-charge for use primarily by students from low income families.   The Shoreline program is supported by the Rotary Club of Shoreline and Shoreline Breakfast Rotary.  Music4Life operates programs in the Seattle, Highline and Shoreline school districts.

Music4Life is a community service activity that is Rotary-inspired, but you don’t have to be a member of a Rotary club to support it, Endicott says. “We’re very glad to have the support of anyone who understands the immense, life-long  value of instrumental music in a child’s life.”

For more information or to donate an instrument to Music4Life, contact David Endicott or call 206-409-3275 or go to the website. Instrument donation forms are available online, as well as at other designated instrument drop-off locations.


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