Health Care and Human Resources

Health insurer names president and CEO

December 7, 2015
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Bank names health plan marketer to board
Joan Budden. Courtesy Priority Health

A woman with more than 25 years of experience in health insurance is the new president and CEO at an insurer.

Joan Budden has been named to the role at Grand Rapids-based Priority Health and will begin her duties in January, according to Richard Breon, president and CEO of Spectrum Health, the parent company of Priority Health, today.

Budden has served in a number of leadership and executive management positions in the health insurance industry over her career.

In announcing her appointment, Breon said Budden’s “extensive experience” makes her an “outstanding choice” to lead Priority Health in the “new and ever-changing health care environment,” which he described as an industry with “increased competition, consumer choice, innovation and models of care that provide a higher level of quality at lower costs.”

Budden said she will continue to focus on "improving the health and lives of the communities we serve.”

Health insurance experience

Most recently, Budden has served as Priority Health’s chief marketing officer since 2009.

Her responsibilities as CMO have included leading Priority Health’s individual, group commercial and government programs segments.

She has also led the development of the company’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act strategy, resulting in Priority Health being named the state’s benchmark health plan.

Additionally, under Budden’s leadership, Priority Health developed a number of tools and programs for consumer engagement and transparency, contributing to the insurer’s “unprecedented growth” and "ensuring its members have the resources to receive convenient, high-quality care at the best price.”

Previously, she led the individual consumer division, project management office and corporate strategy department for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

She also serves on a number of statewide boards.

Budden holds a B.S. in business administration from the University of Michigan and a master’s degree from Wayne State University. 

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