George Frandsen: A Focus on Training
Over the past few years, Florida Blue has changed into a not-for-profit mutual holding company that specializes in health solutions called GuideWell. “Insurance is a major part of that, but we also do administration and claims processing services for federal healthcare programs,” says George Frandsen, Senior Director of Safety and Security. “We have Florida Blue centers where people can go get health screenings, attend fitness classes, and listen to guest speakers. We’re a part of everything health-related right now.”
Employee training is a big part of fulfilling the organization’s mission. “As a department, we provide employees with emergency response training that they can use at work or in their personal lives,” Frandsen says. “For example, two years ago, we teamed up with the University of Florida to offer hands-only CPR training to employees. We’ve now trained more than 600 employees in this technique.”
Additionally, Frandsen’s team gives non-violent crisis intervention training to people who work with the public. “We also provide biomedical waste disposal and blood-borne pathogen training and education, as well as workplace and domestic violence training with employees and the community,” he says.
Information security is the biggest challenge Frandsen sees in his sector. “People trust us to protect their most personal and private information, and we take that responsibility very seriously,” he says. “My team works closely with IT security to ensure our efforts are aligned, and our joint protective measures are the best in the industry.”
Another challenge he sees is “finding creative ways to say ‘yes’ to our internal and external customers while staying compliant in our very highly-regulated and process-oriented industry. Too often, I think security organizations are known for what you can’t do and not focused enough on finding solutions to help support business success,” says Frandsen.
Being involved with helping people is Frandsen’s favorite part of working in his sector. “GuideWell in particular has a deep commitment to give back to the community it serves,” he says. “For example, after the mass shootings at Club Pulse in Orlando, our company provided free access to specially trained behavioral health counselors via a 24-hour help line.” GuideWell also had free on-site English and Spanish grief counseling available in the Orlando area. “We were out there helping. I love that we were doing things that actually got into the community and helped.”
Workplace violence is the team’s biggest focus. They bring in third-party experts to make sure they have top-notch policies and procedures. “I think leaders shy away from using a consultant because they’re afraid that it shows that they’re not knowledgeable enough to gather or write that information,” says Frandsen. “I don’t see it that way. I want the smartest, brightest and best people in the industry helping us build a program.” Currently, Frandsen uses a threat management team and is updating security infrastructure such as access control, video surveillance and incident management tools.
The team has also created a workplace violence prevention resource webpage that includes the “Run. Hide. Fight.” video, company policies, security contact numbers, abuse resources, security memos and updates, and a link to report incidents. “We have found this to be very helpful, and a lot of people have come forward after going to that site to tell us about potential workplace violence situations that we can better manage now that we know the information,” Frandsen says. “I think a lot of people want to tell, but they’re afraid. This allows them to do it.”
Frandsen’s team is also big on pushing employee training and awareness through setting up kiosks at lunch, distributing magnets with the team’s information on it, lunch and learns, and hosting guest speakers. “Their time is very precious, and it’s dedicated to their job, so we’ll show up at lunch with information or a presentation in a cafeteria, and people can listen or they can tune us out, but we’re trying to get it out there,” he says.
The most difficult part of the job “is also the most rewarding, and that’s managing employee domestic violence and threat cases,” Frandsen says. “We want to ensure that they have the knowledge and resources available to help keep them safe at work and at home. The stories of abuse that these victims share with us are incredibly heart-wrenching, and the risk of domestic violence spillover to the workplace is also substantial. Our team constantly manages these and implements protective measures to ensure victims and other employees stay safe.”
In his spare time, Frandsen enjoys paleontology, photography and world travel.
Annual Revenue: $12.7 billion
Security Budget: $5.1 million