Oakwood CEO honored by Michigan Health and Hospital Association

Brian Connolly, president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Oakwood Healthcare, was honored this week for his contributions to the advancement of healthcare in Michigan.

Connolly, who has served as CEO since 2007, was honored with the 2013 Meritorious Service Award from the Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) during the annual MHA membership meeting. The recognition is the highest award given out by the organization.

“Brian Connolly has been an outstanding leader and advocate for healthcare throughout his career,” said MHA President Spencer Johnson. “The MHA is honored to present him with this award in appreciation of his exceptional representation of and commitment to Michigan hospitals and the communities they serve.”

Connolly was honored for his lengthy service as a Michigan hospital CEO, his support as a member of the MHA Board of Trustees—which included a stint as board chairman—and his exceptional work representing hospitals on the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan board and the Greater Detroit Area Health Council board. Connolly also served as a member of the MHA Board of Trustees from 1992-1999, a member of the MHA Executive Committee from 1997-1999 and board chair in the 1998-1999 program year. He rejoined these governing groups in 2006 and continues to lend his expertise there. He is a member of the boards of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, the Detroit Regional Chamber, New Detroit Inc. and the Greater Detroit Area Health Council, as well the University of Michigan-Dearborn Citizens Advisory Committee and the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor School of Nursing Dean’s Advisory Board.

Most recently, Connolly was appointed to succeed Peter Karmanos as Chairman of the board of directors for CareTech Solutions, an information technology (IT) and Web products and services provider for U.S. hospitals and health systems.

“It is indeed rare when someone possesses noteworthy academic credentials and extensive experience in the field. Brian combines both to lead our wonderful healthcare system at Oakwood,” said John Lewis, chairperson, Oakwood Healthcare, Inc. board of trustees. “Not only is Brian a noteworthy chief executive in the healthcare industry, we at Oakwood benefit from knowing him as both a friend and a colleague.”

Connolly’s early career included various administrative positions at Oakwood, followed by 14 years as president and CEO at Providence Hospital and Medical Centers, Southfield, and three years as president and CEO at Blue Water Health System, Port Huron. He has also held top executive positions at hospitals in California and Ohio.

During his tenure as president and CEO of Oakwood, Connolly has pushed for improvements to the overall patient experience, positioning Oakwood as a recognized leader in healthcare quality and value while ensuring the company retains the excellent patient relationships that have characterized Oakwood’s personalized approach to providing care. He has overseen the healthcare system’s successful transition to an electronic medical records system and also implemented programs like Arts for the Spirit, which promotes the use of art to enhance the atmosphere of healing.

CUTLINE: Spencer Johnson (left), president of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association (MHA) congratulates Oakwood President and CEO Brian Connolly, who was honored with the 2013 Meritorious Service Award this week. Connolly's wife, Darcy, was on hand at the event.