2017 Sloan Alumni Achievement Award Recipient
Nancy M. Schlichting '79
Nancy M. Schlichting, MBA ’79, is retired Chief Executive Officer of Henry Ford Health System (HFHS), a nationally recognized $5.7 billion health care organization with 27,000 employees, and recipient of the 2011 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, 2011 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety Quality Award, and 2004 Foster G. McGaw Award. She is credited with leading the health system through a dramatic financial turnaround and for award-winning patient safety, customer service and diversity initiatives.
Joining HFHS in 1998 as its Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, she served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, President and CEO of Henry Ford Hospital and was named President and CEO of the system in 2003. Before her retirement in 2017, Nancy’s career in health care administration spanned over 35 years in senior level executive positions.
Nancy currently serves on several corporate and community boards including The Kresge Foundation, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc., Duke University Health System, Ardent Health Services, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Nancy is also a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives and a member of the International Women’s Forum.
In June 2015, Nancy was appointed by President Barack Obama to chair the Commission on Care. The Commission was tasked to examine veterans’ access to Department of Veterans Affairs health care and to strategically review how best to organize the Veterans Health Administration, locate health resources, and deliver health care to veterans during the next 20 years. The Commission reported to the President of the United States through the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and completed the Commission Report in July 2016. Nancy testified to the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees in September of that year.
Nancy was honored as one of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare magazine eight times, and was also named to the Top 25 Women in Healthcare by Modern Healthcare five times, and was the only Michigander named to the list. Her other awards include the National Center for Healthcare Leadership Gail L. Warden Leadership Excellence Award, American College of Healthcare Executives Senior-Level Healthcare Executive Regent’s Award, American Hospital Association/Health Research and Education Trust 2014 TRUST Award, Becker’s Hospital Review “40 of the Smartest People in Healthcare-2014”, Crain’s Detroit Business “2012 Newsmaker of the Year”, HealthLeaders Media “20 People Who Make Healthcare Better-2012”, and most recently was named one of “Crain’s 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan”, and received Modern Healthcare’s “Visionary IMPACT Award”.
Author of the acclaimed book, Unconventional Leadership, Nancy is a highly regarded expert and accomplished speaker on strategic leadership, quality, cultural transformation, community engagement, innovation, and diversity. Over the past 31 years, Nancy has been very involved with Cornell University and the Sloan Program in Health Administration. She is a past Sloan Alumni Association President and past member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women and the Cornell University Council. She has also served as a visiting lecturer, mentor to Sloan students, and speaker at a number of University events, including the Sloan Women Leadership in Healthcare Symposium, Wagner Lecture, and Entrepreneurship at Cornell Annual Program.
Nancy received her AB in Public Policy Studies, Magna Cum Laude from Duke University and her MBA from Cornell University. She has also been the recipient of honorary doctoral degrees from Walsh College, Eastern Michigan University and Central Michigan University.