Scope and Content
Title: California Blue Shield Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1967-1972.
Collection number: MSS 72-6
Creator: California Blue Shield
Extent: 1 box
University of California, San Francisco. Library. Archives and Special Collections.
San Francisco, California 94143-0840
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Restricted: "Sole property of Dr. Link; not to be opened or utilized without the express,
written consent of the authors, their assigns or heirs, or the University Librarian,
[Identification of item], California Blue Shield Papers, MSS 72-6, Archives & Special
Collections, UCSF Library & CKM
California Blue Shield, the first statewide, doctor-sponsored prepaid health plan in the
nation, was formed on February 2, 1939 as California Physicians' Service, with funding
authorized and advanced by the California Medical Association. It was sponsored, but not
owned by the CMA, with its basic policies set and controlled via the administrative
membership (the house of delegates of the California Medical Association). According to a
1969 publication titled The Shield, the "Blue Shield" name was born in the early 1940s in
Buffalo, New York, where the manager of the non-profit physicians' service chose it as a
companion to the name that identified hospital services, Blue Cross. The name gradually
gained recognition across the country, and in 1946, the national association was formed,
formally adopting the name Blue Shield as signifying the prepayment of physicians'
services on a non-profit basis under medical sponsorship. Although to this day the
corporate name is still California Physicians' Service, the service name, identifying the
services performed, is California Blue Shield. California Blue Shield has offices in Los
Angeles and San Francisco.
Scope and Content
The California Blue Shield publications in this collection --primarily newsletters, but
also an annual report and an issue of the house organ from the organization's thirtieth
anniversary year --were created and distributed as part of California Blue Shield's
ongoing relations with physicians involved in this program. Masthead for the Blue Shield
Bulletin states "Sent to: CMA Councilors, Delegates and Staff; County Medical Society
Officers and Executive Secretaries; Blue Shield Trustees, former Trustees, Management and
Field Personnel." These publications were evidently collected by Dr. J. B. deC. M.
Saunders, first chancellor at UCSF.