Furst Group Assists Priority Health in President Search

January 12, 2021 – Healthcare is among the most rapidly growing employment fields, according to analysts at Hunt Scanlon Media, which tracks trends in the executive search and leadership solutions space. Following a national search, Furst Group, which serves the healthcare and insurance industries, recently assisted Priority Health in Grand Rapids, MI, in the recruitment of Praveen Thadani as its new president.

The announcement comes after a rigorous search process for a leader of the third largest provider-sponsored health plan in the country—serving over a million members annually. He takes over from Joan Budden who has served as president and CEO of Priority Health since 2016. “Praveen is a transformative healthcare leader with extensive industry experience and a passion for innovation and developing talent,” said Tina Freese Decker, President & CEO of Spectrum Health, the integrated system that includes Priority Health. “His commitment to building relationships with members, employers, agents and providers will help us maintain the momentum we have created as we continue working to provide affordable access to care and have a positive impact on the communities we serve.”

“I’m confident Praveen’s leadership, broad experience and appreciation for our integrated system will allow us to continue our excellent service and grow our membership,” said Michael Sytsma, board chair, Priority Health. “I believe that our thorough, national search to select the next president of Priority Heath has helped us identify a great leader in Praveen that will build on the success the company has already achieved.”

Mr. Thadani’s 25-year healthcare career includes experience managing consumer, commercial and government health plan products. He brings a passion for transforming the industry along with a background in services and programs that manage medical cost, development of value-based provider programs, new product development, plan innovation and unique market programs.

Prior to joining Priority Health, Mr. Thadani held a variety of leadership roles with Humana, most recently serving as senior vice president of strategy, product and medical cost. In this role, he was responsible for leading strategic planning for multiple lines of business. Mr. Thadani’s experience also includes more than 12 years with UnitedHealth Group and Optum where he held multiple roles encompassing strategy, growth, operations and integrations. He further rounded his experiences with consulting, public health and provider experiences. Early in his career, Mr. Thadani helped develop a patented insurance platform—Interactive Health Insurance System—that was designed to activate consumer decision-making at the point of service.

Related: Furst Group Recruits Chief People Officer for BJC HealthCare 

“Priority Health is a nationally recognized health plan with innovative products, digital solutions and a strong leadership team,” said Mr. Thadani. “I’ve admired the work of Priority Health for many years, particularly its focus as a non-profit company with a commitment to lowering the cost of care while focused on leveraging digital solutions, analytics and integration to drive more personalized experiences that improve the health of the community. I am honored to have been selected for this role and am excited about collaborating to achieve the vision of personalized health made simple, affordable and exceptional.”

Furst Group Recruits CFO for Baystate Health
Furst Group assisted Baystate Health in Springfield, MA, in the hiring of Raymond McCarthy as treasurer and CFO. Mr. McCarthy has served as interim CFO since March. “Ray has worked tirelessly and skillfully to keep our health system financially stable during the pandemic and the accompanying recession, ensuring that Baystate Health got its fair share of state and federal relief dollars and deployed its resources flexibly and effectively,” said Mark A. Keroack, president and CEO of Baystate Health.

With over 30 years in business, Priority Health is the second largest health plan in Michigan, offering a broad portfolio of health benefits options for employer groups and individuals, including Medicare and Medicaid plans. It serves more than a million members each year and offers a network that includes 97 percent of primary care physicians in Michigan.

Healthcare Recruiting

Furst Group, which is headquartered in Rockford, IL, partners with many of the premier healthcare organizations in the world, from providers and payers to life-science companies and private equity/venture capital firms. While Furst Group’s roots are in managed care, the firm continues to be one of the nation’s leading executive search partners to health systems, hospitals, academic medical centers, post-acute and hospice and palliative care facilities. Its work with insurers stretches back to the HMO era, yet the firm also teams with life-science, pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

Furst Group also has offices in Phoenix, AZ; Radnor, PA; San Francisco; Brentwood, TN; Chicago; Irving, TX; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle; St. Louis; and Washington, D.C.

Related: Furst Group Assists Medica in CTO Search

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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