Michigan State University and Henry Ford Health Partnership to Continue Without Lassiter
But now Lassiter’s right-hand man, Henry Ford Health’s president and chief operating officer, Bob Rainey, is leading the effort. Rainey, a longtime health care executive, will take over as CEO following Lassiter’s departure on Aug. 1.
Henry Ford Health declined to grant an interview to Rainey.
Norm Beauchamp, executive vice president of MSU Health Sciences, told Crain’s that while Lassiter was instrumental in the partnership, the projects will continue.
“To achieve what we have achieved, the entire leadership of Henry Ford and MSU had to see the value,” Beauchamp told Crain’s. “Wast follows after Wright leaves, the next person in the organization, Bob Reinie, takes over. Bob is just as passionate about it because he participated in the discussions. We will miss Wright, but we are excited about it. become part of his legacy.”
A 400-square-foot research institute and medical school in Detroit will mimic an MSU venture with Spectrum in Grand Rapids. The couple built a $250 million innovation park over a decade ago that has attracted significant investment to the region. Last year, pharmaceutical manufacturer Perrigo Co. laid the groundwork for the new 125,000-square-foot headquarters at the Innovation Park.
On Thursday, Lassiter said he was not worried about the future of the research center.
“When you sign a 30-year partnership, you know that the fruits of labor in that partnership will come with time,” Lassiter told Crain on Thursday. “We are keeping up with all the milestones we set during the first year of the partnership. I am not at all concerned about what I will leave behind and both members of our board are 100 percent committed to the partnership.”
Instead, he will become CEO of Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health.
Download the Modern Healthcare app to keep up to date with industry news.
The attraction of one of the largest health care systems in the country—a system of 140 hospitals spread across 21 states—was too strong.
“He is clearly focused on the things that we at Henry Ford are focused on and I have been focused on throughout my career, which is serving the whole community and working hard so that people can live their best life in terms of health and wellness. ‘, Wright told Crain on Thursday. “The opportunity to influence the CommonSpirit platform, which makes up over 30 percent of the United States, as well as some of the international communities, is an impact that I’m proud to be able to lead.”
Lassiter joined Henry Ford Health in December 2014. Under his leadership, Henry Ford Health has also completed two successful mergers, expanding its geographic footprint and expanding globally with the opening of partner hospitals in Saudi Arabia and India in 2020.
During Lassiter’s tenure, Henry Ford also significantly improved his quality record, earning top honors in several publicly announced quality programs, and received upgrades in forecasts and ratings from Moody’s and S&P.
Lassiter was named Newsmaker 2021 Crain’s Detroit Business and longstanding recognition among Modern Healthcare’s 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare.
Lassiter is chairman of the American Hospital Association and was chairman of the Detroit Regional Chamber in 2021, and played a key role in bringing the Mackinac Policy Conference back to an in-person format in September during the pandemic.
The Detroit Regional Chamber’s annual conference was suspended in 2020 due to COVID-19 and a 2021 event was unknown. But under Lassiter’s chairmanship last year, the conference was able to introduce a mandate to vaccinate attendees. Combined with the presence of Lassiter and his management team, the event will take place in the midst of a pandemic with the confidence that no major breakthroughs will occur.
This story first appeared in our sister publication, Crane’s Detroit business.