100 Year Anniversary Timeline

Our History

Over the past 100 years, the MHA has led the way to advance the health of individuals and communities in the state of Michigan.  Achievements since 1919 include advocacy victories, healthcare quality improvements, and more.


In response to an invitation signed by officers of Detroit hospitals, representatives from 34 Michigan hospitals met Dec. 12, 1919, in the Senate chamber of the state Capitol to form the MHA. The association spent its early decades as an avenue for networking among healthcare executives as they worked to promote efficiency and success in hospital management and aid in the health education of the public.

original mha logo


The rapidly changing post-war hospital environment demanded a more robust association, so the MHA moved its corporate offices to Lansing and retained its first staff – H. Allan Barth, executive director. The MHA also formed its Legislative Committee, which annually prepared a plan for legislation and reacted to proposed bills.

Barth MDA


The MHA hired its first lobbyist and advocated for funding for care for disabled children and worked to educate members on hospital law.


The first MHA Annual Membership Meeting was held. The event still serves as the setting for healthcare leaders from across the state to learn, network and celebrate the accomplishments of Michigan hospitals.


The Hospital Research & Educational Reserve (now known as the MHA Health Foundation) was established. This subsidiary of the MHA offers educational programming and fundraises for community programs in Michigan hospitals.


The MHA began work to develop a data bank so that it could become the credible resource for industry data, which served as the foundation for MHA Data Services.


The MHA Insurance Company was formed (owned and controlled by Michigan hospitals), issuing its first policies April 1, 1976. Now the company is known as Coverys, and it is a leader in helping the medical community address the challenges of healthcare delivery in today’s rapidly changing landscape.


The MHA undertook a major campaign to better inform the public regarding hospital and healthcare issues. This campaign, and the efforts that followed, are part of the MHA’s mission to advance the health of individuals and communities across the state of Michigan.

MHA Advocacy


MHA’s “Day at the Capitol” brought more than 1,100 hospital leaders, auxilians, physicians and other healthcare providers to Lansing as part of its successful advocacy efforts for medical liability reform. Medical liability reform kept doctors out of the courts, lowered the costs associated with practicing medicine and mitigated the need to practice defensive medicine.

MHA day at the capitol


The MHA developed a statewide community benefit definition and measurement tool to assist members in quantifying the contributions they make in the communities they serve.


The MHA Keystone Center for Patient Safety and Quality was formed to assist hospitals in improving the safety of care delivered in both inpatient and outpatient settings and to improve the quality of care provided by hospitals, with its first focus on stroke care and later ICU care.

MHA Keystone Center


The MHA launched a new website, MI Hospital Inform, to provide Michigan citizens with more information than had ever been available before about the quality of care at Michigan hospitals. A voluntary effort of Michigan hospitals, this effort further demonstrated the hospital community’s historic tradition of public accountability that has long guided the state’s hospitals and is designed to empower consumers in making healthcare decisions. Now, that information is available on the patient-focused VerifyMICare.org.


The MHA worked in close collaboration with the governor’s office, Michigan Department of Community Health (now the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) and other healthcare stakeholders to pass Public Act 107 of 2013, which created the Healthy Michigan Plan. The Healthy Michigan Plan is Michigan’s unique version of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion and began coverage for Michiganders April 1, 2014. As a result of the collaborative outreach and enrollment efforts, more than 670,000 individuals were covered by the plan by 2018.

Healthy Michigan plan bill signing