BCBS of North Carolina CEO resigns after DWI arrest

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina CEO Patrick Conway, MD, resigned Sept. 26 after details emerged about an allegedly alcohol-related car crash in June, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The registration came at the request of the insurer's board of trustees. In a statement to WSJ, the board said new details related to the incident "depict behavior that falls short of our standards. Despite Dr. Conway's many successes during his tenure at BlueCross NC, we feel that our constituents are best served by naming an interim CEO and beginning a formal search for a permanent replacement."

Gerald Petkau, COO of BCBSNC, will take over as interim CEO. BCBSNC has also halted affiliation plans with Cambia Health Solutions due to the incident.

In June, Dr. Conway was charged with driving while impaired and misdemeanor child abuse after a car crash invovling him and his two daughters. Video from the incident shows Dr. Conway's car swerving across highway lines before crashing into a commercial vehicle. Police reports from the incident describe Dr. Conway as "absolutely belligerent," yelling and cursing at officers, as well as threatening them, according to WSJ

While BCBSNC's board had backed Dr. Conway, the trustees have come under criticism for keeping the incident quiet until local media learned about it in late September, nearly three months after the arrest. 

Dr. Conway announced his resignation on Twitter Sept. 26, saying he is "ashamed, embarrassed and sorry" for his actions. He brought up the importance of mental health, writing: "Most importantly, I acknowledged a disorder and serious problem with alcohol, voluntarily sought treatment, & have been sober for over 90 days & in the best mental health of my life. Anyone seeking substance use treatment & recovery should be celebrated. Not judged and punished."

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