Class of ’22 Alumni spirit honorees: Patricia D. Kennedy-Scott ’78 — visionary healthcare leader

Each year, University of Detroit Mercy chooses an alumnus from each of its Colleges or Schools to honor as someone who has excelled in his or her profession, demonstrated outstanding leadership in work and devoted himself or herself in service to the larger community. Award recipients reflect the University’s mission of excellence and service and bring pride to their alma mater. This year, the University will celebrate seven honorees at a special ceremony Thursday, Sept. 29, at the Ballroom of the Student Union on the McNichols Campus. If you are interested in attending the event, you can purchase tickets at

This year, the School of Law honors Patricia D. Kennedy-Scott, regional president (Ret.), Kaiser Foundation Health of Ohio.

Kennedy-Scott began her career as a lawyer with the Michigan Attorney General’s office, working exclusively with the Department of Health. She moved to Harper-Grace Hospitals and was recognized as an up-and-comer in the national Modern Healthcare magazine. She was appointed by former President Bill Clinton to serve on the Health Care Reform Review Committee.  

After a seven-year stint as vice president of Group Health Services of Puget Sound’s Network Services Division, she came to Cleveland to serve as regional president for Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Ohio, where she was responsible for ensuring the delivery of care and health plan services to customers in northeast Ohio, while anticipating and making plans for industry trends. 

Kennedy-Scott’s career has been noted for her direct and focused, yet caring and approachable leadership style. She serves as a role model and mentor for many people and sets a high standard for community service. She has served on the boards of many institutions, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Cuyahoga Community College and the YWCA, which honored her as a Woman of Excellence in 2005. In 2006, she received the prestigious Athena Award, which honors those who have helped women reach their full leadership potential.  

She and her husband established the Patricia D. Kennedy-Scott and Glenn D. Scott Endowed Law Scholarship to benefit female African American law students. 

Other honorees this year are:

College of Health Professions — Linda Walton Little ’97, president and CEO, Neighborhood Service Organization
College of Business Administration — John C. Donnelly ’72, consulting director, Donnelly Penman & Partners
College of Liberal Arts & EducationMarlena Peleo-Lazar ’72, chief creative officer (Ret.), McDonald’s Corporation
College of Engineering & ScienceRose A. Ryntz, Ph.D. ’83, president, Ryntz & Associates, LLC
School of Dentistry — Cheri S. Newman ’89, ’90, ’98, adjunct professor (Ret.) Detroit Mercy Dental
School of Architecture & Community Design — Craig L. Wilkins ’85, senior lecturer of Architecture and Urban Planning, University of Michigan

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