DETROIT – Nancy Schlichting, Chief Executive Officer, Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), announced the retirement of James M. Connelly, (age 69) president and CEO of Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and executive vice president of HFHS.
Schlichting and the HAP board of directors appointed Connelly as president and CEO of HAP in January 2014. He will officially retire from HAP and HFHS in December 2015.
“Jim is known and respected as a leader who is genuine, honest and sincere, with a true passion for helping our patients, members and customers. His financial and business expertise and counsel have benefited the entire System and served us well both on the provider and the insurance sides and as a result, our organization as a whole is performing more effectively, and is better aligned and growing,” said Schlichting.
“When Jim stepped into his HAP leadership role, federal health care reform was underway as well as Medicaid expansion in Michigan. HAP’s accomplishments during Jim’s tenure as president are impressive. Jim led his team with a laser focus on compliance, customer service, operational excellence and new member growth.”
HFHS and HAP will conduct a national search for Connelly’s successor. “By sharing his retirement plans with us early, Jim has given us ample time to form a search committee and conduct a thorough national recruitment process to select his successor and ensure a smooth leadership transition,” said Schlichting.
HAP is second largest health insurer in Michigan and under Connelly’s leadership now has 690,000 members — the highest membership in the company’s history — despite the highly competitive economic climate and sweeping industry changes brought about by federal health care reform.
HAP has transformed from a company primarily serving the insured commercial and Medicare markets into a full-service broad-product portfolio health insurance company that offers six distinct product lines: Group Insured Commercial, Individual, Medicare, Medicaid, Self-Funded and Network Lease.
“It has been my pleasure to lead HAP through a period of unprecedented industry growth and change. I’ve been so privileged to work with extraordinary HAP and HFHS board members, a first-rate leadership team and the most talented, committed, caring, customer-focused employees in the industry,” said Connelly.
Connelly joined Henry Ford Health System in 2000 as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. Connelly has served on the HAP Finance Committee of the HAP board of directors for 15 years. Connelly will retire at the end of this year after more than 16 years of extraordinary service to Henry Ford.
As the System’s CFO and treasurer, he was a key member of the executive leadership team that turned around the System’s financial position in 2001. During Jim’s tenure as CFO, the System revenues doubled to $4.5 billion and assets grew from $2 billion to $3.5 billion.
Connelly oversaw the financing of the $300 million, five-year expansion at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, the $360 million construction of Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and the $350 million EPIC implementation.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Detroit. Connelly is a certified public accountant and a member of the Michigan Association of CPAs, the Healthcare Financial Management Association and treasurer and vice chair of the board of directors for TechTown Detroit. He is also a former board chairman of the Greening of Detroit.
About Health Alliance Plan hap.org
Health Alliance Plan (HAP) is a Michigan-based, nonprofit health plan owned by the Henry Ford Health System. For 55 years, HAP has partnered with leading doctors, hospitals, employers, unions and community organizations in the service of its mission of “enhancing the health and well-being of the lives we touch.” HAP offers a product portfolio with six distinct product lines: group insured commercial, individual, Medicare, Medicaid, self-funded and network leasing arrangements. HAP excels in delivering award-winning preventive services, disease management and wellness programs and personalized customer service. HAP is accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance.
Brenda D. Craig, MFA
Director, Media Relations
Henry Ford Health System