The Regents of the University of Michigan salute John D. Forsyth, president and chief executive officer of the University of Michigan Health System, as he leaves the University of Michigan to become president and CEO of ISAD Health Services Corporation in Iowa.
John has spent his entire 26-year professional career at the University of Michigan. After receiving bachelor's and master's degrees from Michigan State University, he joined the staff of the University of Michigan personnel office where, from 1970-76, he held a number of progressively more responsible staff and management positions and rose to director of Medical Center Human Resources in 1976. He was promoted to deputy executive director and chief operating officer of UM Hospitals in 1983 and executive director of UM Hospitals in 1985. He has served as president and CEO of the UM Health System since its creation in February 1996.
As executive director of UM Hospitals, John oversaw a $1.2 billion budget, representing 45 percent of the entire University budget. During his tenure, he led the transformation of the health system that built reserves from zero to $700 million in ten years and led to an AA rating by Standard & Poor's. Under his leadership, the University established M-Care HMO, constructed and activated the $150 million Maternal and Child Health Care Center, and implemented a statewide networking strategy. His administration also instituted a nationally-recognized total quality program and an employee-empowerment program, as well as cost efficiency programs that reduced costs by more than $150 million over four years.
A relaxed, accessible, and responsive administrator, John scheduled breakfast meetings, call-in sessions, and semi-annual open forums to ensure the broadest possible participation by the health system's thousands of employees as the system underwent its steady transformation. His top priorities have always been the UMH employees and the patients they serve. John's wife, Rita, has also been an active member of the University community. She serves as a member of the
Ronald McDonald House board of directors and developed and implemented an innovative program to improve the in-patient experience for Cancer Center patients and their families.
In recognition of his extraordinary accomplishments, the Regents wish to convey their deepest respect, admiration, and gratitude to John D. Forsyth for his exemplary, long-term service to the University of Michigan, and wish him continued success as he leaves Ann Arbor to pursue new challenges in this next phase of his career.
Regents’ Resolution, July 1996, Page 2