Hospital Executives Recognized for Outstanding Leadership

The MHA announced the winners of its 2023 Healthcare Leadership Award June 29 during its Annual Membership Meeting. Each year, the MHA recognizes outstanding individuals who have provided exceptional leadership to healthcare organizations and to the health and well-being of the community. The 2023 recipients are Nancy Susick, MSN, RN, NE-BC, FACHE, chief operating officer, acute & post-acute care, Corewell Health East, and Rudolph Valentini, MD, chief medical officer, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and group chief medical officer, Detroit Medical Center. The MHA will donate $1,000 on behalf of each award winner to the charity of their choice. These funds were provided to the MHA by the family of former MHA President H. Allen Barth.

Nancy Susick, MSN, RN, NE-BC, FACHE, operating officer, acute & post acute care, Corewell Health East.

When Susick became president of Beaumont Hospital, Troy in 2012, she became the first female and the first nurse to serve as president of a Beaumont Hospital. Her career with Corewell Health East (formerly Beaumont Health) spans nearly four decades, originally beginning as a registered nurse before holding numerous staff, nursing leadership and senior executive administrative positions. Susick has played an integral role in Beaumont Health’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and leading significant infrastructure projects to expand access to healthcare services.

Susick was actively present throughout the pandemic, regularly rounding the halls of the hospital and providing support to care teams to ensure they had the necessary supplies, equipment and emotional support to safely care for patients, while keeping themselves healthy. She also worked closely with clinical teams to provide opportunities for families to virtually connect with loved ones when visitation policies were suspended.

Prior to her current role, Nancy served as interim president of Beaumont Health and played a key role in leading Beaumont through the integration process between Spectrum Health and Beaumont Health that occurred February 2022. Susick also provided 24 years of service in the United States Navy Reserve, retiring in 2012 with the rank of Captain, having held multiple leadership positions including Commanding Officer and Executive and Training Officer. She has also been involved in supporting several stand-down clinics for veterans providing clinical care, social services and housing resources and continues to be a resource to individuals trying to make decisions for careers in the military.

Susick has asked that the $1,000 monetary portion of the award go to Trinity Community Care in Shelby Township.

Rudolph Valentini, MD, chief medical officer, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, and group chief medical officer, Detroit Medical Center.

Dr. Valentini had dedicated his career towards improving patient care and access. He has been with the hospital staff of Children’s Hospital for Michigan since 1997, including the past 11 years as the chief medical officer. Included in those accomplishments is co-founding the Vasculitis Clinic dedicated to children with autoimmune diseases that affect the kidneys and other organs, starting an outpatient nephrology clinic to increase access to care for patients, and redesigning the Hemodialysis Clinic at Children’s Hospital of Michigan to minimize school absences for patients. He has also made outstanding contributions to the organization’s quality initiatives, playing a key role in reducing hospital-acquired infections to the lowest levels in years by implementing effective measures.

Dr. Valentini’s leadership was instrumental in responding to both the 2022 respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and influenza outbreak and the COVID-19 pandemic, both internally at the Detroit Medical Center and statewide as a pediatric leader. He helped raise awareness about the link between COVID-19 and pediatric multi-inflammatory syndrome during the COVID-19 pandemic and played a key role in the state’s response to the RSV and influenza outbreak, encouraging collaboration between Children’s Hospital of Michigan and other pediatric hospitals to maximize statewide hospital bed capacity. He also was critical in implementing a command station at Children’s Hospital of Michigan to streamlining the management of the surge in patient volume during that time.

At Valentini’s request, the $1,000 monetary portion of the award will go to the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

The MHA congratulates the winners of the 2023 MHA Healthcare Leadership Award.

Media Join Hospital Viability Press Conference

Dec. 6 Teleconference Speakers
Dec. 6 virtual press conference speakers.

The MHA conducted a virtual press conference Dec. 6 to discuss the economic and staffing challenges impacting hospitals across the state to generate awareness with lawmakers of these issues and the potential impact on access to timely, high-quality healthcare for Michiganders.

The event occurred while children’s hospitals continue to operate near capacity levels as they continue to care for a surge of children suffering from respiratory illnesses amid staffing shortages. Speakers also referenced how the loss of 1,700 staffed adult inpatient hospital beds across the state has led to longer wait times in the emergency department, reduced services and more difficulty transferring patients. Lastly, the point was made that no other industry is prevented from responding to inflationary pressures and growing expenses to the degree that healthcare is.

Speakers included:

  • T. Anthony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer, University of Michigan Health System.
  • JJ Hodshire, president and chief executive officer, Hillsdale Hospital.
  • Dan Hurley, chief executive officer, Michigan Association of State Universities.
  • Brian Peters, chief executive officer, Michigan Health & Hospital Association.
  • Susan Smith, executive director, Economic Development Partnership of Hillsdale County.
  • Rudolph P. Valentini, chief medical officer at Children’s Hospital of Michigan, group chief medical officer at Detroit Medical Center.

Over a dozen media outlets from across the state joined the call, with stories published from Bridge Michigan, The Detroit News, Gongwer, MIRS, Michigan Business Network, MLive, SBGTV and WXYZ.

Following the press conference, a press release was also distributed to statewide media.

Members with questions related to media should be directed to John Karasinski at the MHA.

Michiganders Need Continued Access to High-quality, Timely Healthcare

Michigan’s hospitals are facing a funding crisis, putting communities and families across the state at risk of losing access to high-quality, timely healthcare. Health systems, business and university leaders are urging policymakers to address the crisis to avoid further reduction of available beds and access to care and healthcare services.

Michigan has lost a high of 1,700 staffed hospital beds since 2020 due to lack of staffing. This creates a cascade of problems, from longer wait times in the emergency department, reduced services, particularly in rural areas, and more difficulty transferring patients to the appropriate care setting. Respiratory illnesses are also surging, making problems worse.

T. Anthony Denton

“Recently, we have seen a surge in cases of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu and COVID. This puts an additional pressure on emergency departments and our already-strained inpatient bed capacity across Michigan, impacting care statewide. Without funding to address staffing shortages, we run the risk of compromising our ability to provide the same level of exceptional care that we’re accustomed to across the state,” said T. Anthony Denton, senior vice president and chief operating officer, University of Michigan Health System and Michigan Health & Hospital Association board chair.

A 2021 Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation survey found that nearly 30% of healthcare workers are considering leaving their profession altogether. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the need for 1.1 million new registered nurses nationwide by 2030, the Association of American Medical Colleges estimates two out of every five active physicians nationwide will be 65 or older within the next 10 years, and the nation faces a projected shortage of more than 3.2 million lower-wage healthcare workers such as medical assistants, home health aides and nursing assistants, according to a Mercer report.

“The overall health and prosperity of Michigan is inextricably tied to the state’s investment in its healthcare and higher education enterprises,” said Daniel Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “Michigan’s public universities, together with our hospital and other healthcare partners, look forward to working with state leaders to ensure a future healthcare workforce that is capable of providing the highest levels of quality care for all Michiganders.”

The healthcare workforce shortage — combined with an aging population, a rise in chronic diseases and behavioral health conditions and advancements in medical care delivery — all contribute to an immediate need for resources that will allow hospitals to continue to provide the care residents need and deserve.

Despite staffing losses attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare directly employed nearly 572,000 Michigan residents in 2020, continuing to make it the largest private-sector employer in the state. The 2022 Economic Impact of Healthcare in Michigan report found that direct healthcare workers in Michigan earned $44.2 billion in wages, salaries and benefits, with indirect, healthcare-supported workers earning about $28 billion wages, salaries and benefits.

“With healthcare being the largest private-sector employer, a healthy Michigan economy is directly linked to a properly funded healthcare system,” said Susan Smith, executive director, Economic Development Partnership of Hillsdale County. “Without access to healthcare services to support our communities, ranging from obstetrical units to trauma centers, we cannot remain economically competitive, attract or retain talent, or support placemaking for young families and care for everyone at all stages of life.”

Michigan officials have made recent short-term investments to address the hospital staffing crisis, but additional funding remains unappropriated that if used as intended, can improve hospital capacity and service lines. Michigan also needs a long-term funding solution to address stagnant reimbursement that has yet to respond to inflationary pressures to improve the retention of existing healthcare workers and recruit future workers to ensure that residents continue to have access to healthcare services.

Learn how you can help your local hospital or health system by visiting

Additional quotes:

JJ Hodshire

“Hospitals have an immediate need for resources to continue to provide the services residents need and deserve – like ambulances available for lifesaving care,” said JJ Hodshire, president and chief executive officer, Hillsdale Hospital. “As a rural hospital, we excel at being innovative to make the best use of our resources, particularly staff. However, we can only stretch resources for so long. Everyone can agree that access to lifesaving emergency medical care is a basic need for Michiganders and residents should be able to receive specialized care no matter where they live.”

“My colleagues in pediatric units across the state have spent the past month responding to one of the worst respiratory illness surges I can remember as a physician and the biggest challenge to our ability to care for more children was our lack of available staff,” said Dr. Rudolph P. Valentini, chief medical officer, Children’s Hospital of Michigan and group chief medical offer at Detroit Medical Center. “We can’t afford to have another surge of sick, hospitalized children before something is done to improve the health of our hospitals and health systems.”

Brian Peters

“Michigan residents deserve quality, accessible healthcare services and without hospital resources to adequately provide that care, Michigan hospitals have and will continue to face difficult decisions about what services they can offer,” said Brian Peters, chief executive officer, Michigan Health & Hospital Association.