April 26, 2016

Healthcare CEO & SVSU alum to address 2016 graduates

Saginaw Valley State University will welcome an alumnus passionate about improving health care as its May 2016 Commencement speaker. Joseph Fifer, president and CEO of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, will address graduates during Commencement exercises Friday, May 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, May 7 at 11 a.m.


The graduating class consists of 990 individuals expected to complete degree requirements who have indicated that they intend to don regalia and march in their respective ceremonies.  In all, SVSU will welcome nearly 1,100 people to its alumni rolls, as 937 students are expected to complete bachelor’s degrees and 158 are expected to complete master’s and advanced degrees.

Commencement exercises for graduates in the colleges of Business & Management and Health & Human Services will be held Friday evening. Students completing degrees in the colleges of Arts & Behavioral Sciences, Education, and Science, Engineering & Technology will take part in the ceremony scheduled for Saturday morning.

As is tradition, SVSU President Donald Bachand will congratulate each graduate in both ceremonies as he or she crosses the stage.

Fifer serves as president and CEO of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, a national organization with offices in suburban Chicago and Washington, D.C. He completed a bachelor’s degree in business administration at SVSU in 1982.

The association provides the resources healthcare organizations need to achieve sound fiscal health in order to provide excellent patient care. With more than 40,000 members, it is the nation's leading membership organization of healthcare finance executives and leaders. Working with a broad cross-section of stakeholders, the association identifies gaps throughout the healthcare delivery system and bridges them through the establishment and sharing of knowledge and best practices.

Prior to assuming his current position in 2012, Fifer spent 11 years as vice president of hospital finance at Spectrum Health, in Grand Rapids, Mich. He also spent time with McLaren Health Care Corporation in Flint, as vice president of finance; and at Ingham Regional Medical Center in Lansing, as senior vice president of finance and chief financial officer. Fifer started his career with nine years at Ernst and Young, also in Michigan.

Fifer served as Chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association Board of Directors in 2006-07. An association member since 1983, he also served as a chapter president and for two terms as a board member. A Fellow of HFMA and a CPA, Fifer is an active community volunteer and runner.