Garry Faja

Garry Faja

February 16, 1947 July 21, 2019

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Obituary for Garry Faja

Garry was a graduate and loyal alumnus of the University of Michigan (BSE, ’69 and MHA, ’75). After graduation, he began a long and remarkable career in hospital administration. He joined St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in 1982 where he dedicated the next 32 years of his career. He served as the first President and CEO of the St. Joseph Mercy Health System (1997- 2014) that eventually expanded to include the six southeastern Michigan hospitals and health centers of CHE-Trinity Health. His extraordinary leadership and vision were instrumental in this successful expansion, providing high-quality, compassionate care to patients in their own communities with access to leading edge health care technology as part of the regional system. His wise influence and attention to detail ensured that both new and renewed SJMHS hospital and health centers would be thoughtfully engineered to bring together patient satisfaction, quality and a healing environment. His determined stewardship of both organizational resources and philanthropic gifts from the community resulted in the investment of more than $700 million that established and revitalized SJMHS health care facilities and programs throughout southeastern Michigan. His advocacy efforts and leadership roles in local and national healthcare forums have championed the advancement of health care access around the state and across the nation. He provided insightful leadership as the Chairman of the Michigan Health and Hospital Association, an organization that recently recognized his numerous contributions to health care in the state with a lifetime achievement award. He was a key voice in the effort to expand Medicaid across the state. He was passionate about caring for the underserved and he ensured that SJMHS was a lead organization in the startup and development of the Washtenaw Housing Alliance, a vital health service securing housing for homeless individuals in Washtenaw County. After retirement he continued to serve this passion as an energetic and thoughtful leader on the cabinet of the Sister Yvonne Gellise Endowment Fund for Permanent Supportive Housing Services. Garry’s belief in the importance of collaboration facilitated the formation of Together Heath Network, a network involving the Michigan-based health systems of Ascension Health and Trinity Health, providing more accessible care to patients receiving care in both systems. Mercy Cancer Network was developed under his leadership and he was instrumental in the development of a statewide master affiliation agreement between the University of Michigan Heath System and the fourteen hospitals of Trinity Health-Michigan to partner cooperative efforts across the state. Garry’s numerous accomplishments were always based on what was best for patients and their caregivers. In retirement he provided inspirational leadership to the Board of Catholic Social Services of Washtenaw County where he served as vice-chair. He will be remembered as an admired and beloved leader throughout the Health System and the community he loved.Most importantly, he was a beloved father and husband who valued family above all else. He is survived by his wife of nearly 48 years, Barbara, his daughter, Christine, and son-in-law, Jason, and his brother, Arthur. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that gifts be made to the Sister Yvonne Gellise Fund for Permanent Supportive Housing Services. The Fund was established in 2011 to create lasting, systemic solutions to homelessness in Washtenaw County. For more information or to make a gift electronically, please visit Checks can be made out to the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, with “Sister Yvonne Gellise Fund” indicated in the memo section, and mailed to: AAACF, 301 N. Main Street, Suite 300, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

To send flowers to the family of Garry Faja, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday July 26, 2019 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Nie Funeral Home Inc
    3767 W Liberty Rd
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Friday July 26, 2019
    2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Family in at 1PM
  • Second Visitation

    Friday July 26, 2019 | 6:00pm - 8:00pm
    Nie Funeral Home Inc
    3767 W Liberty Rd
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Friday July 26, 2019
    6:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Service

    Saturday July 27, 2019 | 12:00pm
    Nie Funeral Home Inc
    3767 W Liberty Rd
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Saturday July 27, 2019
    Casket closed for service. Then daughter wants to view him privately before burial
  • Interment

    Saturday July 27, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Forest Hill Cemetery
    415 S. Observatory St.
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Saturday July 27, 2019

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Cynthia K Doody

I am so sorry to hear of Garry's passing. He and Barb were such an amazing couple and so much fun to talk with. My heart goes out to the entire family - blessings to you.Cynthia Doody
Comment | Posted at 12:00am via Condolence

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Large Basket Garden was purchased for the family of Garry Faja.
Comment | Posted at 12:00am via Condolence

Maxcine Paine

I had the pleasure of speaking to Garry in a number of conversation, he truly believed in caring for others and was passionate about St. Joes. We both started St. Joes in 1982. A wonderful leader that will truly be missed.
Comment | Posted at 12:00am via Condolence

Noreen Keating

As a Board Member of SJMO I have such fond memories of Garry and his incredible wit and wisdom. I also have vivid memories of parties and dinners especially in Florida. Please accept my prayers and condolences for a superb gentleman.
Comment | Posted at 12:00am via Condolence

Marti Satwicz

I worked at St. Joe's many years and then at Trinity Health. In all my interactions with Garry whether as a staff nurse or as a quality professional, he was always receptive and respectful. I can't think of a better leader!
Comment | Posted at 12:00am via Condolence

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