|By Scott Scanlon, The Buffalo News, N.Y.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Kates began to work at HealthCarePlan in 1995. Three years later, the company was renamed
He wears several hats for one of the top three health insurers in the region, but one of the roles that gives him the greatest satisfaction is helping the company place Automated External Defibrillators with rural sheriff's offices and nonprofit groups in
"When we place these units, my parting words are, 'I hope you never have to use it. I want it to gather dust,' but if they do have to use it, that's what it's all about," said Kates, 54.
Describe your job in a nutshell.
Corporate communications is public relations, it's media relations, community investments -- sponsorships -- but the bottom line is to protect and enhance the brand.
What are some of the ways you go about doing the job?
There is no typical day or week. We answer media inquiries. We try to think up interesting stories about our industry to pitch to media outlets. We look for ways we can help out in the community by providing underwriting support for health and wellness initiatives. We communicate to our members and our providers and our employers interesting information that will help them get the most from their benefits.
I think all the health plans locally look for opportunities to do things for the community at large. One of our colleagues in
You've donated quite a few to police agencies, including the
One day I was sitting waiting for my wife, Amy, to come out of Wegmans and there was a Rural Metro Ambulance parked nearby with the motor running, waiting for a call. It clicked in my head that where I live, in
Is it easy to use one?
You could hand it to a stranger on the street and say, "Use this device." It looks like a child's lunch box. You open it and it speaks to you, it gives you voice commands to follow. It has an electronic brain, so you couldn't shock someone accidentally. It will tell you if a shock is advised. If it's not advised, it won't fire. If it is advised, It will tell you what to do.
They're about a
What was the reaction when you recently reached out to officials at Old Fort Niagara in
On the Web: Read about the role Univera AEDs have played in WNY at blogs.buffalonews.com/refresh
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