Syracuse, NY

Excellus BCBS announces new CNY Regional Advisory Board members

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield has named Jeremy Klemanski, John M. Marraffa, Jr., and William J. Simmons, Esq., to its Central New York Regional Advisory Board.

“As a local health plan, our mission is to help people in our communities live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care.  With their wide range of experience and expertise in community impact, health care, education and law, these individuals add breadth and depth to our board as we work to fulfill our mission,” said Excellus BCBS Central New York Regional President Mark Muthumbi.

Jeremy Klemanski serves as president and CEO of Helio Health and The Helio Health Foundation. He earned an MBA from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University and completed his undergraduate degree at the State University of New York Polytechnic Institute.

Klemanski has served as a private equity consultant specializing in the evaluation of behavioral healthcare organizations. He regularly speaks and trains on the topics of nonprofit board development, leadership, management, communications, and team development. He has also served as an independent monitor for government and private treatment programs. Klemanski currently serves on the board of directors for the National Council for Mental Wellbeing representing New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. He is also board chair of the NYS Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers and began his second term in January 2022. Klemanski resides in upstate New York with his wife and children.

John M. Marraffa, Jr., is president of Kinney Drugs. A graduate of Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, he joined Kinney Drugs in 2019 as vice president of government affairs and healthcare services integration. Since then, he has introduced the new Kinnect division, a transformational onsite pharmacy for specialized healthcare facilities; expanded the Delivery at Discharge program; and introduced a patient safety organization.  Additionally, Marraffa led Kinney Drugs’ COVID-19 response.  John remains focused on identifying opportunities and engaging new partners to deliver innovative healthcare solutions.

Marraffa was an active New York State Board of Pharmacy member from September 2014 until April 2022. He served on several committees and was chairman from 2020-2022.  He has served on several of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy’s task forces and committees, including the Task Force on Safety Sensitive Measures to Review Medication Errors. Marraffa is an adjunct experiential preceptor for several colleges and universities, including the Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, the Wegmans School of Pharmacy at St. John Fisher College, and the Binghamton University School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Marraffa resides in Fayetteville, NY, with his wife and children.

William J. Simmons, Esq., is the executive director of Syracuse Housing Authority (SHA), responsible for upholding the housing authority’s mission and vision of providing quality, safe and affordable housing, and the overall empowerment and self-sufficiency of its residents.

Simmons received his Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law in 2004 and has been a member of the New York State Bar Association since 2006. He also earned a New York state real estate broker’s license in 2019.  A native of the Bronx, NY, Simmons has lived in Syracuse since 1975, was the director of airport services at Syracuse Hancock International Airport from 1986-1994, served as board commissioner on the Syracuse City School Board from 1989-1997, and was a 5th District Syracuse Common Council member from 2000-2008. He currently serves as board trustee member for the Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA), board president of the New York State Public Housing Authority Directors Association (NYSPHADA), board director for Center for Community Alternatives, board director for the University Hill Corporation, board president for Dunbar Association, and board director for CenterState CEO. Simmons resides in Syracuse.

Edward Byrnes Date:

Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, is a nonprofit health plan with 1.5 million upstate New York members. The company's mission is to help people live healthier and more secure lives through access to high-quality, affordable health care. Its products and services include cost-saving prescription drug discounts, wellness tracking tools and access to telemedicine. With more than 3,500 employees, the company is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse workforce to foster innovation and better serve its members. It also encourages employees to engage in their communities by providing paid volunteer time off as one of many benefits. To learn more, visit


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