Three visionary health care executives, a behavioral health organization and an entrepreneur to receive awards at GDAHC Salute! to Healthcare on November 5
The architects of the Beaumont, Botsford and Oakwood health systems merger
highlight an evening with the most powerful, diverse group of health care stakeholders in one place,
hosted by the region's non-profit health collaborative
Next month, during its annual dinner awards ceremony, Salute! to Healthcare, the Greater Detroit Area Health Council [GDAHC] will present awards to individuals and organizations that have transformed health care in southeast Michigan. 

"Since 2012, we've honored health care leaders whose efforts have increased access to care, improved the quality of care and managed the cost of care," said GDAHC president and CEO Kate Kohn-Parrott. "This year's Salute! to Healthcare honorees represent the changing landscape of health care in our region. These visionaries have seen gaps in care and opportunities to improve the health and well-being of the people who live, work, play and pray in southeast Michigan, by affecting change."
The visionary executives from Beaumont, Botsford and Oakwood, who joined with their respective board of directors to form Beaumont Health, will receive the Symond R. Gottlieb Award at the GDAHC Salute! to Healthcare. In honor and memory of Sy Gottlieb, a former GDAHC executive director, this award is presented to individuals who have dedicated their work to significantly improving quality, access and delivery of health care.

The Sy Gottlieb honorees are:

Brian Connolly recently retired as the Oakwood Healthcare President and CEO following the merger of Beaumont, Botsford and Oakwood. He was the Chief Transition Executive during the merger. Connolly has numerous contributions to health care in the southeast Michigan region and to the health care delivery system in America. He had the vision and foresight for Oakwood to partner with Beaumont and Botsford in a merger that will impact the health and wellbeing of southeast Michigan for decades to come. Connolly is a member of the GDAHC Board Executive Committee and a past Board Chair, advocating for its programs to increase access to care, improve the quality of care and manage the cost of care.
Paul LaCasse, D.O., was the former President and CEO of Botsford Health Care prior to the merger. He is currently Executive Vice President of Post-Acute Division at the new Beaumont Health. His contributions to health care in our region are extensive, most notably increasing access to quality care for families in Oakland and Wayne counties. LaCasse had the far-reaching vision that crafting a merger with Beaumont and Oakwood will further improve care and increase access to care while managing the cost of care. As a GDAHC Board member, his insights and advocacy are instrumental to the regional health collaborative.
Gene Michalski was the President and CEO of Beaumont Health System prior to the merger and became the first President and CEO of the new organization, Beaumont Health. He retired in June 2015. Michalski's unwavering leadership to ensure Beaumont Health System provided the best quality care in the region is undeniable, while possessing the vision to understand that even a large health system will be more viable and stronger with local partners, Botsford and Oakwood. He is a former GDAHC Board Member, including a former member of the Executive Committee, who continues to advocate for its programs.
The Detroit Wayne Mental Health Authority (DWMHA) will receive the Eagle Visionary Leadership Award at the GDAHC Salute! to Healthcare. This award honors the contributions and achievements of an organization in southeast Michigan that has made steady progress in advancing a health care issue of quality, access or cost.
Tom Watkins, president and CEO of DWMHA, will accept the Eagle Visionary Leadership Award on behalf of the organization at the ceremony. A former department of Wayne County government, DWMHA became an independent authority two years ago. Since 2013, DWMHA has integrated substance use disorder programs into its organization that also oversees services for individuals with intellectual and development disabilities. It has collaborated with providers to increase access to behavioral health services in Wayne County, and leads an educational campaign to de-stigmatize mental health.
Cassie Sobelton will be the first honoree to receive the Breakthrough Award at the GDAHC Salute! to Healthcare. The award honors an individual or organization for their impact on the health and well-being of southeast Michigan through community engagement and innovation.
Sobelton founded SynBella to reduce health care costs for corporate employers, while improving the health, happiness and overall quality of employees' lives. Through her work, she has influenced change and improvement in health care by finding unique and resourceful ways to implementpreventive measures in the business community employee population. Sobelton's expertise, displayed in frequent television appearances and social media influence, touches an important spectrum of health care that is necessary to address whole-person care.
WJBK-FOX 2's anchor and reporter Roop Raj will emcee the GDAHC Salute! to Healthcare dinner awards ceremony on Thursday, November 5 at 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. Tickets are available for $125 for GDAHC members and $150 for future GDAHC members. Table sponsorship is $1200. Tickets and tables may be purchased at
Thur, November 5
5:30 - 8:00 p.m. 
Detroit Marriott
Renaissance Center
400 Renaissance Dr
Detroit, MI 48243
Reserve Your Table or Seat(s) Today for Salute! to Healthcare on November 5
GDAHC will honor four individuals and an organization during its annual dinner awards ceremony, Salute! to Healthcare, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center on Thursday, November 5 at 5:30 - 8:00 p.m.
  • Network with the most impressive, powerful, diverse group of health care stakeholders.
  • Celebrate individuals and organizations that have transformed health care (see list of honorees above).
  • Learn about GDAHC health and well-being programs and support its mission.
The GDAHC 2015 Salute! to Healthcare includes a cocktail reception, dinner and awards ceremony.

Become a sponsor or purchase a table or tickets. A sponsorship menu and other ticket information is available by contacting Bryan Peckinpaugh at 313-965-4123 or
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