CF native Holmquist to succeed Smith as CEO at UPHP

MARQUETTE — Upper Peninsula Health Plan President and CEO Dennis Smith has announced he will retire in July after 15 years with UPHP, to be succeeded as CEO by Melissa Holmquist, currently UPHP chief operations officer and a Crystal Falls native.

Smith has been CEO of UPHP since April 2003. In addition to his duties as the CEO of UPHP, Smith also serves as the president and CEO of Upper Peninsula Health Group and executive director of Upper Peninsula Health Care Solutions.

Smith also serves as Lake Superior Community Partnership board chairman, treasurer of InvestUP and past board president of the Michigan Association of Health Plans.

UPHP was founded in 1998, with just six employees. Under Smith’s leadership, the company has grown to its current staff of more than 150. Today, Upper Peninsula Health Plan serves more than 47,000 members across five product lines — Michigan Medicaid, Children with Special Health Care Services, Healthy Michigan Plan, MI Health Link and Medicare Advantage — and has a network that exceeds 1,500 providers.

“As we approach our 20th anniversary, I know UPHP is well set for the future. I believe that now is the right time for me to step down and pass the baton on to Melissa,” Smith said.

Holmquist is a graduate of Northern Michigan University who has been with UPHP for 15 years.

“Melissa has an outstanding strategic and operational track record at UPHP and is highly revered by her colleagues,” said Brian Sinotte, UPHP Management Committee chairman and CEO of UP Health System-Marquette.

Holmquist was named UPHP Employee of the Quarter in 2002, 2006 and 2010, when she also was voted Employee of the Year.

“It’s been a pleasure to work with and learn from Dennis during my tenure at UPHP,” Holmquist said. “I look forward to building on his excellent foundations to drive the health plan through its next phase of development and create further value for our members.”