Longtime Henry Ford Health executive Robert G. Riney has been named president and CEO of the five-hospital health system, the Henry Ford Health Board of Directors announced Thursday.
Riney formerly served as chief operating officer for the $6.6 billion Detroit-based academic health care system. A 44-year employee of the health system, he’s played a key public role for the organization as the executive voice at media updates throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
As president and CEO, Riney will lead a team of more than 33,000 employees, including nearly 6,000 physicians and researchers from the Henry Ford Medical Group, Henry Ford Physician Network and Jackson Health Network.
Riney replaces Wright Lassiter III, who left Henry Ford in late July to become CEO of the Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health, one of the largest nonprofit health systems in the country. He’s served as acting CEO since August.
A graduate of Wayne State University, Riney joined Henry Ford Health in 1978 and has worked in almost every operating unit of the organization, according to the health system.
“Henry Ford is home,” Riney said in a press release. “Home to incredible innovation, cutting-edge science, and an unwavering commitment to our colleagues and to the communities we serve.
“It’s a place where, despite even the most daunting of challenges, making the impossible possible happens every day. I am energized and excited to lead this special organization. I look forward to Team Henry Ford continuing to innovate, excel and grow in serving our patients, members, communities and each other.”
Henry Ford Health trains more than 4,000 medical students, residents and fellows every year across more than 50 accredited programs. It’s consistently ranked among the top five National Institutes of Health funded institutions in Michigan and engages in more than 2,000 research projects annually,
The health system provides primary and preventative care, health insurance, home health care services, virtual care, pharmacy, eye care and other retail health care services.
In addition to serving as COO since 2003, titles held by Riney over the past 20 years include president of healthcare operations; senior vice president and chief administrative officer; senior vice president and chief human resources officer; and vice president of organizational design and effectiveness.
“With Bob at the helm, Henry Ford Health is under the guidance of a leader who has seen our organization through some of its greatest challenges, and for whom a lifetime commitment to team members, patients and our communities has been his calling and his mission ,” Board of Directors Board Chair David Breen said in a statement.
“His strategic insights and ability to foster meaningful business partnerships and drive advancement of our clinical, research and academic distinctions are noteworthy. Additionally, he is very skilled and focused on fostering a culture of belonging between team members, patients and members, and our communities .”
Riney was also described as a “passionate” member of the Metro Detroit community, He currently serves as a trustee of the Alfred I. duPont Charitable Trust, board member and past chair of the Michigan Health & Hospital Association, and board chair of The Parade Co., which puts on Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
He also serves as board chair of the Caymich Insurance Co., and a member of the boards of the Detroit Zoological Society, M1 Rail Transit Authority, Hudson-Webber Foundation and Business Leaders of Michigan.