Mercy Housing Lakefront Presents 2018 Inspiring Hope Award to Blue Cross and Blue Shield Vice President Krishna Ramachandran


David Pickard

CHICAGO, September 26, 2018 – Mercy Housing Lakefront today presented its 2018 Inspiring Hope Award to Krishna Ramachandran, who serves as the Vice President of Health Data Strategy and Enterprise Network Operations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Presented annually at Mercy Housing Lakefront’s Moving Forward Together celebration, the Inspiring Hope award honors an individual who has overcome adversity to achieve personal and professional success, inspiring others in the process.

Growing up in poverty in Chennai, India, Mr. Ramachandran slept on the floor of his family’s home, a small apartment they could afford only because his mother pawned jewelry to make ends meet. As a result of their experiences, Mr. Ramachandran’s parents were adamant he have the opportunity to pursue education and escape the cycle of poverty, raising money from friends and family for his school uniforms and encouraging him to complete college.

In 2000, after being accepted to the University of Illinois at Chicago’s graduate school to study electrical and computer engineering, Mr. Ramachandran bought a one-way ticket to Chicago and arrived in the city with two suitcases, $150 and a handful of Indian spices with which to cook. With continued persistence in the face of adversity, Mr. Ramachandran successfully completed graduate school and began his professional career.

Today, 18 years later, Mr. Ramachandran is the Vice President of Health Data Strategy and Enterprise Network Operations at Blue Cross and Blue Shield, responsible for developing and executing their health data exchange strategy with providers and external partners across five states, in addition to supporting the analytics and operations for alternative payment models to increase value for more than 15 million members.

Mr. Ramachandran serves as an instructor in The University of Chicago’s Master of Science in Biomedical Informatics program, teaching the Big Data in Health Care course and is an active member of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). He holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Birla Institute of Technology and Science (India); a Master of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Chicago; and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.


“Krishna Ramachandran’s journey from extreme poverty in childhood to a position in which he is able to help improve the quality of life for millions of Americans is nothing short of extraordinary,” said Mercy Housing Lakefront President Mark Angelini. “He is proof that through hard work and determination, along with support from the community, it is possible to overcome even the most dire circumstances. We are truly inspired by him, and grateful for the example he provides to others striving to achieve their full potential in life.”

About Mercy Housing Lakefront

Mercy Housing Lakefront (MHL) is working to build a region where everyone has an affordable home to use as a springboard to achieve better health, economic security, and a brighter future for their kids. MHL owns and operates 52 properties in Illinois, Wisconsin and Indiana, serving more than 8,000 people annually. MHL is a regional branch of Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), a leading national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver, Colorado. Please find additional information at