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Excellus elects 3 new advisory-board members for Utica region

By Journal Staff (


UTICA, N.Y. — Excellus BlueCross BlueShield recently announced it has named Dietra Harvey, Dr. Daniel Welchons, and David Wippman to its regional advisory board for the Utica region. 

Harvey has served as the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative (ESPRI) administrator for United Way of the Mohawk Valley since 2017. She is also an independent consultant with Destiny Does Happen, where she specializes in helping clients design their vision through customized curated workshops and facilitation for personal and professional development, per an Excellus news release. Harvey previously served as the community-resource specialist for the Mohawk Valley Community Action Agency for four years. She earned an associate degree in human services from Mohawk Valley Community College and a bachelor’s degree in non-profit/public/organizational management from Keuka College.

Welchons, MD, is a member of Associated Medical Professionals (AMP) Urology practice in New Hartford, and has admitting privileges at Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Dr. Welchons earned his medical degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. He completed his residency in urology and internship in general surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Wippman has served as president of Hamilton College since 2016. A recognized authority in international law, he has taught public international law, international criminal law, international human rights, and ethnic conflict. Wippman received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, his master’s degree through a fellowship in the graduate program in English literature at Yale University, and his law degree from Yale Law School. He served as dean of the University of Minnesota Law School, was a professor and associate dean at Cornell Law School, and served as vice provost for international relations at Cornell. Additionally, Wippman served as a director in the National Security Council’s Office of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs. Before joining Cornell, he practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C. Since joining Hamilton College, Wippman has led the development of a strategic plan; launched a $400 million capital campaign with a focus on increasing need-based student financial aid; prioritized diversity, equity, and inclusion; and written extensively on issues affecting higher education, the release stated.

The three newly elected members join 14 other Excellus regional advisory-board members.

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