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Incoming Beaumont Health CEO Ready for Integration Challenge

By Philip Betbeze  
   January 16, 2015

John Fox comes from Emory to lead the merger of three Detroit organizations. Having no previous history with any of them, he is seen as a visionary who can meld the cultures into a cohesive whole.

What could prompt a CEO to leave a 15-year career as head of a globally significant health system

  • At which his latest plaudit came from helping other more overwhelmed organizations treat Ebola patients effectively and safely?
  • At which his two largest hospitals were named number 2 and number 3 in the University HealthSystem Consortium Quality and Accountability Study?
  • Which is the largest and most comprehensive academic health system in the state with $2.7 billion in annual revenue?

A challenge, that's what.


John Fox

And a challenge it will be in late March when John Fox takes the lead at Beaumont Health, a recently created entity with $3.8 billion in annual revenue that merges the former Beaumont Health System, Oakwood Health System, and Botsford Health Care in the metro Detroit geographical area.

The merger became final in September only after Beaumont scrapped a planned merger with Henry Ford Health System the year prior that would have created a $6.6 billion health system, one of the largest in the state. The different cultures at the two organizations were seen as reasons that merger was ultimately scuttled.

Fox will face cultural integration issues anyway as he attempts to bring together 33,000 employees, 5,000 physicians, and eight hospitals under one cohesive umbrella.

As a new leader with no previous history with any of the merged entities, Fox is seen as a visionary who can meld the cultures of three very different organizations into a cohesive whole. His predecessor, Gene Michalski, who began a 44-year healthcare career in the lab at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, will retire.

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Philip Betbeze is the senior leadership editor at HealthLeaders.

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