Hillegonds appointed CEO of Michigan Health Endowment Fund

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A former House speaker and utility executive has been named CEO of a health endowment created under the overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund voted Monday to approve the appointment of Paul Hillegonds.

He starts work March 16.

The 65-year-old retired last year as senior vice president of corporate affairs at DTE Energy. He served 18 years in the state House through 1996, once serving as Republican speaker.

A 2013 law modernizing Blue Cross required it to contribute around $1.6 billion over 18 years to the fund to take on some of its charitable work. The money may be spent on infant mortality, wellness programs and other areas.

Hillegonds says the fund will make an "enormous contribution" to health and wellness in Michigan.

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