Michael Sachs, healthcare business leader and founder of Sg2, dies at 67

Michael A. Sachs, founder of several healthcare consulting companies, including Sg2, died Nov. 29. He was 67. 

Mr. Sachs died in Palm Beach, Fla., where he resided. His cause of death has not been disclosed. 

Mr. Sachs devoted his career to healthcare. He started as a paramedic, then served as an administrator at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Mich., and later as a consultant at A.T. Kearney and Ernst & Whinney. He founded the Sachs Group in 1984, which began a period of serial entrepreneurship in healthcare data and insurance services with the founding and expansion of several companies, including bSwift, Solucient/HCIA-Sachs, Sg2 and Repp Health.

Skokie, Ill.-based Sg2 partnered with more than 1,400 hospitals and health systems, as well as pharmaceutical and medical device companies, to provide healthcare market intelligence, strategic analytics and clinical consulting services. The company, for which Mr. Sachs served as founder and chairman, was acquired by MedAssets in 2014 for $142 million. 

Most recently, Mr. Sachs worked with his son David at Repp Health as chairman and co-founder. The company, based in Boulder, Colo., and Evanston, Ill., provides real-time coordinates and location services that are more affordable and 10 times more accurate than traditional real-time location system services, according to its website.

As he started and expanded companies, Mr. Sachs created thousands of jobs and spurred the launch of successful careers for the people around him. 

"He attracted, motivated and advanced incredibly talented healthcare professionals," his obituary reads. "He was recognized as a great leader, strategist, mentor and friend by all who worked with him. Despite his demanding schedule, Michael always found time to have a cup of coffee with anyone seeking his knowledge and wisdom." 

In addition to time spent sharing guidance over coffee with friends and colleagues, Mr. Sachs served on several boards and councils for hospitals, healthcare organizations and private companies, including the advisory board for Becker's Healthcare for three years. 

Through philanthropy and leadership, he supported the American Jewish Committee, Ravinia Festival in Highland Park, Ill., Ounce of Prevention Chicago, Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, where he established the Alice B. Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement. 

In addition to his son David, Mr. Sachs is survived by his wife Louella; his daughter Laura Sachs; stepchildren Cooper and Camryn Kanew;; grandchildren Juniper, Annabelle, and Axel Sachs; sisters EllenDubinsky, MyrnaHayutin, Sherrian Meyers; brothers HarveySachs, Phillip Sachs; and many nieces and nephews. 

His death triggered an outpouring of remembrances in the healthcare business community. 

"Michael inspired a generation of healthcare leaders to challenge the status quo," said Bill Woodson, senior principal with Sg2, who worked with Mr. Sachs for 24 years. "Over several decades, he consistently predicted what would change in our industry and told us what we should do to respond. He was an amazingly forceful leader, mentor and visionary for hundreds of healthcare executives. It's hard for me to imagine what happens next in American healthcare without his critical voice, wit and guidance. We have lost a rare talent and friend."

"More than being a great business and healthcare leader, Michael stands out as being a remarkably warm and intelligent leader," said Scott Becker, publisher of Becker's Healthcare. "He was a great mentor and colleague and sounding board to so many, such as Steve Lefar, Bill Woodson, John Couris and Jessica Cole and many, many others. He was incredibly generous with his time and counsel. Michael was a very, very special person. We at Becker's Healthcare were fortunate to have Michael serve as an advisory board member for several years." 

"Michael was not only an industry icon, but a mentor, coach, partner, and most importantly, a friend," said Steve Lefar, former president and CEO of Sg2 and current executive director of StrataDataScience. "A decade ago, we took a leap together when he asked me to lead Sg2, and I will be forever grateful for that privilege. I won’t forget the great fun we had crafting the Sg2 letters, arguing about what coffee to put in the fifth-floor machine (Intelligentsia vs. Dunkin'), helping entrepreneurs through TLSG, nights at Ravinia Festival and conversations just talking about the world (and wine!). He was one of the greatest thinkers and sounding boards I've ever met, and there will be a permanent void in my week. Words can't express the profound impact Michael had on my life and so many thousands of others."

"Michael was a brilliant businessman and executive, and a warm individual who always looked to help and learn. I consider myself lucky to have gotten to know him over the years, and thank him for everything he did for healthcare," said Jessica Cole, CEO of Becker's Healthcare.  

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