HighScope Board of Director Recognized by Crain's Detroit Business on the 100 Most Influential Women in Michigan List

Marianne Udow-Phillips
Director, Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation

By Jay Greene


Career ladder: Before coming to the center in 2007, Udow-Phillips served as director of the Michigan Department of Human Services under then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm. She held various positions at Blue Cross from 1978-1983 and 1988-2004, including senior vice president of health care products and provider services with responsibility for the Blues' social mission, health policy, data analysis, care and network management. She also was a senior executive with Mercy Alternative and Care Choices. Udow-Phillips, 62, holds a master's degree in health services administration from the UM School of Public Health, where she now lectures on public health.

Power metrics: The center she leads is a partnership of the University of Michigan and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, with 25 employees and an annual budget of $2.5 million.

Secret weapon: Udow-Phillips has a strong belief in collaboration and partnerships with a mission-centered focus. She believes seeking the common good is the best strategy for effectiveness.

Big win: Working with the state of Michigan and writing the winning grant, she was able to help bring a 5-year, $110 million Michigan Primary Care Transformation demonstration project home. With thousands of physicians involved, MiPCT is proving that patient-centered medical homes can improve quality and reduce costs.

Board/community connections: A trustee on 10 nonprofit boards, including the HighScope Educational Research Foundation, the Early Childhood Investment Corp., Freedom from Hunger, Arbor Research, UM School of Public Health dean's advisory committee and the UM Depression Center National Advisory Board.

Power lesson: Partnerships are essential to success and whenever you help others, you are also helping your own organization.

Surprising fact: She knows all the moves to "Stop in the Name of Love." She also has all her funeral songs picked out, including "I Heard it through the Grapevine" from her college days and Jay-Z and Alicia's Keys' "Empire State of Mind" because she is from New York.

How she assists other women: She is an investor with Belle Capital LP, an angel investment group that focuses on woman-owned or woman-led early stage companies. She also chairs the board of Freedom from Hunger, a global micro-finance organization that works to create women's collectives and help them start businesses and become self-sustaining.

Changes she has seen in how women wield power: There are more women in the C-suite, but she believes more needs to be done.

Next big goal: To help demonstrate how the State of Michigan's innovation model grant can impact population health by coordinating care between medical, behavioral and social services.

For more information, visit http://www.crainsdetroit.com/awards/mostinfluentialwomen/3406687/Marianne-Udow-Phillips.

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