Cathy Mahaffey is the new chief executive officer of Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, succeeding Bob DeVita, who has retired after fulfilling a two-year commitment to the nonprofit member-governed insurance cooperative serving 19 counties in eastern Wisconsin.
Prior to the CEO role, DeVita had retired in May 2010 and became a volunteer board member and advisor until February 2012. He then assumed the two-year start-up CEO position. DeVita brought 40 years of senior health care leadership to the organization working for health care organizations including Marshfield Clinic, Ministry Health Care and Wheaton Franciscan Health Care. His guidance helped spearhead the Cooperative’s first year enrollment of over 24,000, more than doubling the first year goal.
“Bob’s leadership and commitment to Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, our members, and Wisconsin residents is to be commended,” said Bob Connolly, chairman of the Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative board of directors. “Under Bob’s direction, we were able to launch our cooperative in a very short timeframe and exceed our membership goals. We’re grateful.”
Mahaffey, who had served as current chief operating officer of the Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, assumed her new role June 1. An insurance executive with more than 20 years of leadership in the health insurance industry, she experience working at nonprofit healthcare cooperatives. She previously served as the executive director of Farmers’ Health Cooperative and also worked at The Alliance, a nonprofit employer-owned cooperative in Madison.
“As a board, we have been impressed with Cathy Mahaffey since she became a part of the Common Ground group that was looking to bring a better option for health insurance to Wisconsin,” Connolly said. “Her ability to understand the big picture but also always put the interest of our members first makes her the right leader for Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative.”
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative began enrollment of individuals and small businesses in October 2013 for coverage during the 2014 calendar year.
In February 2012, Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative was awarded a $56.4 million start-up loan from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to build the new nonprofit organization and bring affordable healthcare to the region beginning January 1, 2014. The loan is one of several cooperative health care models under the federal Affordable Care Act, designed to provide more affordable health insurance to small businesses, nonprofits and individuals across the country.
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative’s headquarters are based in Brookfield and its products are available for individuals and small businesses living in Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Kenosha, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Milwaukee, Oconto, Outagamie, Ozaukee, Racine, Shawano, Sheboygan, Walworth, Washington, Waukesha and Winnebago counties.