Health Care Hall of Fame Past Inductees
Inducted in 1996
After leaving the University of Pittsburgh where he worked as an assistant coordinator of hospitals and clinics at the school's medical center, McNerney went on to found the University of Michigan's health administration program in 1955. At the time, he and a part-time secretary ran the whole program. Under his watch, the program would develop into one of the first to combine education, research and community service into a healthcare administration curriculum. In 1961, McNerney left teaching to become president of the Blue Cross Association, which included 65 Blues plans. In that role, he would help develop the Medicare and Medicaid legislation in President Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society. In 1978, the Blue Cross Association merged with the Blue Shield Association, and McNerney was chosen as the first head of the merged organizations.