Health Care, Human Resources, and Nonprofits

Alliance for Health changes prompt resignations

October 2, 2014
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Alliance for Health, the nonprofit community coalition advocating for reduction in health care prices for individuals and businesses, is changing course and as of this morning several board members have already resigned. Some participating organizations also have withdrawn funding.

At a closed meeting on Monday, a quorum of Alliance board members voted to shift the existing organizational strategy toward more of an “insurance-based agency.”

Board members and officers who have turned in their resignations include: Dr. Marsha Rappley, dean of Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine; Jim Green, from Lacks Enterprises; and Joe Gavan, president at Potomac Ventures. MSU’s College of Human Medicine is withdrawing its support from the Alliance due to the organization’s change.

With approximately 12 years of involvement with the organization, Gavan said he disheartened with the current leadership.

“I’m incredibly disappointed with its current leadership chaired and run by two people who have no appreciation for the Alliance’s history, benefit or potential impact,” said Gavan. “As a result, the Alliance will now morph into an insurance agency using its nonprofit status to compete against for-profit organizations and effectively ignoring its once noble mission of reducing the cost of health care to individuals and businesses. I, like so many others who have served this organization, have now resigned from it.”

When contacted, the current Alliance president and chief executive officer, Paul Brand, stated in an email there has been a great deal of strategic rethinking occurring at the Alliance and it is in no way ready to discuss the results in any public forum. The organization is currently working with Wondergem Consulting to launch a public rollout of its new initiatives.

Brand also emailed other board members and asked that they not speak to the media until a formal announcement can be made.

The Alliance for Health has historically received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its Aligning Forces for Quality: The Regional Market Project, with the latest award designated in 2013 for roughly $1.04 million to last until April 30, 2015. The grant was designed for building upon previous work the organization has done and using tools to drive change in national health care reform.

The health care and community leader alliance was originally established more than 60 years ago, to encourage optimal health for all in the community through high quality services at low costs, with values that include community accountability, open dialogue, information sharing and inclusiveness.

Longtime president Lody Zwarensteyn left the organization earlier this year and was replaced by Brand.

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