Mike Duggan to step down as DMC chief in pursuit of Detroit mayor bid
Nov 08, 2012 (Menafn - Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Mike Duggan, the Detroit Medical Center chief who restored the health network to profitability and is now weighing a run to become Detroit's next mayor, told employees in an email this afternoon that he's leaving his post.
Duggan will step down Dec. 31, he said in an email sent to employees today. The DMC's president, Joe Mullany, will take over January 1. Mullany is a former head of the Massachusetts operations of Vanguard Health Systems, the Nashville-based company that purchased the DMC in 2010.
"I've said many times that I wouldn't leave DMC until I know our future is bright and we have an outstanding team in place to carry on our momentum. With this week's election results, I'm confident we're there," Duggan said in the email shared with the Free Press.
His email told employees: "As I complete 9 years here, I feel lucky and very grateful to the 14,000 men and women of DMC who have been so supportive of me through a lot of battles and a lot of changes. You worked really hard to bring us back from financial crisis and turn DMC into the outstanding health care system we are today with the fastest growing hospitals in our market."
Duggan is about midway through what he called a 90-day assessment period to gauge interest in his candidacy for mayor in 2013. He's expected to make a decision around the end of the year.
Mayor Dave Bing has not said whether he will run again; other candidates include State Rep. Lisa Howze, D-Detroit, who has declared her intention to run.
Duggan's announcement comes after the Beaumont and Henry Ford health systems last week announced a blockbuster plan to combine, creating another health-care giant in southeast Michigan if the deal goes through.
Duggan said in an interview this afternoon that the announcement of a planned merger of two competitors wasn't a factor in his decision, but the results of two key election decisions were: President Barack Obama winning a second term, likely safeguarding Obama's health care reforms, and the repeal in Michigan of Public Act 4, the statewide emergency manager law that gave emergency managers sweeping powers to strip powers from elected officials in financially troubled cities and school districts and impose drastic cuts on unionized municipal and school workforces.
"The president getting reelected means health reform goes into effect, giving the DMC a very bright future," Duggan said. "And the emergency manager law got overturned. I've been very concerned about running for an office that may not exist. When I saw those two results, the timing of the decision became obvious."
Duggan said he's been holding meetings at homes of residents in all corners of the city nightly in small groups, and said he's been encouraged by the support and offers from supporters to volunteer for his potential campaign.
"The exploratory process is going very well, and if it wasn't going very well, I wouldn't have made this decision" to leave his job, Duggan said. "There's no way you could run for mayor and have a full time job at the DMC."
"It's been a great reception," Duggan said. "If I could spend two hours with every person in the city of Detroit, I'm confident that they would" support his candidacy. "I'm going to come as close to that as I can."
Duggan announced in October that he was cutting his salary by 30% because the mayoral bid meant he could no longer devote 60-80 hours a week to the DMC job, and he wanted it to be clear he wasn't using DMC-paid time to campaign.
Duggan is a former Wayne County prosecutor who served as a key deputy to the late Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara. Duggan has been CEO of the DMC since 2004.
Contact Matt Helms: firstname.lastname@example.org, @matthelms or 313-222-1450
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