The Baystate Health community mourns the loss of former Baystate Health President & CEO Mike J. Daly whose strategic vision and leadership over two decades brought truly world-class health care to western Massachusetts. Daly died this week in North Carolina at the age of 74.
Daly served Baystate from 1981 to 2003. In 1983, Daly was named the first president & CEO of the newly incorporated Baystate Health System. During Daly’s visionary leadership, Baystate grew from a single academic medical center to one of the most successful and respected integrated health systems in the nation.
Current Baystate Health president & CEO Mark A. Keroack, MD, DPH, notes, “Daly’s tenure as president and chief executive officer of Baystate Health and Baystate Medical Center was formative not only for Baystate, but also for the evolution of the American health care system. Mr. Daly was nationally respected and recognized as a thinker and a leader, and his contributions to Baystate and to the health of our community and its people are innumerable and immeasurable.”
For all his accomplishments and renown, Daly was a kind and humble man with an ability to connect with compassion and empathy.
Daly was the driving force behind many of our organization’s most notable points of pride, including our superlative achievements in quality and safety, our foresight in establishing Health New England as a partner to meet our community’s insurance needs, and the creation and development of highly integrated and mutually supporting employed and community physician groups.
He was a past chair of the board of Health New England; a past board member of Premier, Inc., the largest organization of health care systems in the world; past chair of the Massachusetts Hospital Association; American Health Systems; New England I-Healthcare Assembly and the Healthcare Forum. In 1993, he was named Massachusetts Healthcare Executive of the Year.
Daly served on many boards including the WestMass Development Corporation, Suffield Academy, Friendly Ice Cream Corporation, Western Massachusetts Life Care Corp., Inc.; Innovatix, LCC, and the Basketball Hall of Fame. He also served as chair of the Economic Development Council of Western Massachusetts. He also served in the Air force during the Vietnam War based out of Westover.
Baystate Medical Center became Springfield’s largest employer during his tenure. Baystate Health faced complex challenges in a changing healthcare landscape while Daly led the organization and in his often humble way credited much of the success to the stability of the management team and the strength and commitment of the health system’s medical staff.
"Mr. Daly was a true gentleman and a healthcare visionary," said Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. "His dedicated and respected leadership took Baystate Medical Center to the next level of being one of the top rated hospitals, not only in Massachusetts, but also in the country too. On a personal note, my dad cut his hair for many years and ‘oh, the enjoyable and relaxing conversations they would have.’ God rest his soul.”
Daly inspired Baystate Health employees to deliver the highest quality health care services and left Baystate with a legacy to fulfill our mission to improve the health of the people in our communities every day with quality and compassion.
Upon Daly's retirement in 2003, the Board of Trustees renamed the former Centennial Building the Daly Building in recognition of his many years of service and critical role making that facility a reality.
Judith M. Daly, his late wife, who passed away in 2011, took an active role in supporting Baystate Health in numerous ways, including overseeing many fundraisers to support the hospital and its patients.
Baystate Health plans to remember Daly and his legacy as Baystate Health’s first president and CEO. More information will be provided in the coming weeks.
Dr. Keroack adds, “Daly will be missed and fondly remembered by his professional colleagues and the communities he served throughout his career. The Baystate Health community shares our deepest sympathies with Daly’s family.”
Calling hours for Mr. Daly will be held Tuesday evening, December 27 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM at D'Esopo Funeral Chapel, 277 Folly Brook Blvd., Wethersfield, CT. A Mass of Christian Burial is planned for Wednesday, December 28 at 10:00 AM at St. Augustine Church, 10 Campfield Ave., Hartford, CT.
The family has requested that donations be made to the Michael and Judy Daly Sisters Fund at Baystate Health Foundation, 280 Chestnut Street, Springfield, MA 01199.