Priority Health CEO announces plans to retire in 2016

(Grand Rapids, Mich. - September 3, 2015)
Michael P. Freed, president & CEO of Priority Health and Executive Vice President of Priority Health's parent company, Spectrum Health, has announced that he plans to retire in early 2016.

Freed has led Priority Health as President and CEO since 2012 and has been a board member of the health plan since 1995. From 1995 through 2013, he also served as the Executive Vice President and CFO of the Spectrum Health System. Freed announced his intentions to the Priority Health Board of Directors and employees this morning. In his message, he noted that he wanted to announce his plans now in order to give the organization time to transition smoothly to his successor.

"Priority Health is a very special organization that, together with the whole Spectrum Health family, has provided me with so much inspiration over these last 20 years. I'm very grateful for the incredible opportunity I was given to make a contribution in such great communities, in such a wonderful state. It's been a privilege that was much more than what a kid from a small New England town could have ever dreamed of. Looking ahead, we have many talented people in our organization who I know will ensure that Priority Health continues to improve the health and lives of the people in the communities we serve," Freed said.

"Mike has been an integral part of building Spectrum Health, a health system that makes a difference every day to the individuals, families and employers who live in West Michigan. It has been my privilege to work with him as a colleague and a friend," said Richard C. Breon, President & CEO, Spectrum Health.

Freed's leadership has allowed Priority Health and the Spectrum Health System to thrive and grow. Priority Health has added more than 100,000 members statewide and achieved one of A.M. Best's highest ratings. Freed has also been instrumental in the Spectrum Health System growing from a $700 million health care organization when Spectrum Health was formed in 1997 to the $5 billion health care system it is today.

"Under Mike's direction, Priority Health has experienced robust growth," said Jody Vanderwel, Chair, Priority Health Board of Directors. "Mike has that unique leadership quality that inspires creativity and innovation. He encouraged his team to explore new possibilities and the results speak for themselves. His legacy includes a stable and growing organization headed by a strong leadership team. We wish him the very best."

About Priority Health:

Priority Health is an award-winning, Michigan-based non-profit health plan nationally recognized for improving the health and lives of the people it serves. It continues to lead the industry in engaging members in their health, delivering effective health and disease management programs and working with physicians to improve health care outcomes and performance. Priority Health is one of only 20 health plans nationwide offering wellness programs accredited by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, an organization which also rated it among the best health plans in the nation. The State of Michigan named the Priority Health HMO the benchmark plan for all individual and group HMO plans to model.

Priority Health offers a broad portfolio of health benefit options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. Its network of health care providers features 95 percent of practicing physicians available in Michigan and more than 900,000 health care providers nationwide.