Des Moines University gains a Glanton Presenting Sponsor in Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Wellmark Chair and CEO John Forsyth and DMU President and CEO Angela Walker Franklin.
Wellmark Chair and CEO John Forsyth and DMU President and CEO Angela Walker Franklin.

Des Moines University announced today that Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield will be the Presenting Sponsor of DMU’s 2016 Glanton Dinner. Wellmark is a mutual insurance company based in Des Moines that provides health coverage to more than two million members in Iowa and South Dakota.

The annual Glanton Dinner is a major fundraiser for the Glanton Fund, which generates scholarship support for DMU minority students, under-represented in health care, and other initiatives that prepare all students to serve patients in our increasingly diverse society. This year’s dinner will occur Thursday, October 6, at the Meadows Events and Conference Center in Altoona, IA.

“Wellmark and Des Moines University share common core values in diversity and inclusion,” says John Forsyth, Wellmark chairman and chief executive officer. “We are honored to sponsor the Glanton Dinner and hope our support will help DMU students continue to succeed in the health care field.”

The University strives to foster the success of students enrolled in its eight graduate programs in medicine and health sciences by enhancing their cultural competency. The goal is to help them become more aware of and sensitive to their future patients’ and colleagues’ diverse backgrounds and beliefs so they can interact with them with respect and compassion.

“Culturally competent health care providers can establish greater patient trust and communication. Studies have shown that’s imperative to meeting their health needs,” says Angela Walker Franklin, Ph.D., DMU president and CEO. “That is why Des Moines University is committed to enhancing our students’ cultural competency. It isn’t just the ‘nice’ thing to do; it’s critical for effective health care.”

Established at DMU in 2004, the Glanton Fund is named after the late Luther T. Glanton Jr. and Willie Stevenson Glanton, both attorneys, public servants and advocates for opportunity and education for all. The endowed Glanton Fund has since grown to $2.2 million to support efforts that prepare health care professionals to serve diverse patients according to their unique needs.

Owned by its policyholders and focused on customers, Wellmark strives to deliver exceptional service with high ethical standards and key business strategies. That includes promoting a culture of health and maximizing the contributions of diverse people — such as the DMU students benefited by the Glanton Fund.

“Combining diversity with inclusion is essential to reaching our potential as a company,” says John Forsyth, Wellmark chair and CEO. “We are proud to support minority students and collaborate with organizations, like Des Moines University, to enrich students that may ultimately serve our customers.”


The 2016 Glanton Dinner will occur Thursday, October 6, at the Meadows Event & Conference Center in Altoona, IA. A variety of sponsorship levels are available. All proceeds support the Glanton Fund at DMU. For more information about the fund, dinner or opportunities to sponsor the event or reserve a table, visit dmu.edu/glanton or call 515-271-1463.

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