ichael J. Hennessy Sr., the beloved chairman and founder of MJH Life Sciences™, the parent company of Medical Economics®, passed away in November after a lifetime spent turning his passion for building businesses and creating jobs into a run of successful ventures and brands. He was 61.
Following his graduation from Rider College (now Rider University) in Lawrence, New Jersey, in 1982, he started his career in medical publishing as a sales trainee, eventually advancing to the position of chief operating officer. In 1986, Hennessy became chief operating officer of Medical World Business Press, which was part of the launch of medical newspapers and other media products. The company prospered and was eventually sold to a Boston-based venture capital firm.
Hennessy launched Multimedia Healthcare, LLC, in 1993 and built a portfolio of award-winning clinical journals. In 2001, Freedom Communications, Inc., acquired Multimedia Healthcare, about the time that Hennessy was pioneering a new approach to print and digital publishing with Intellisphere®, LLC (now part of MJH Life Sciences™). Guided by the principles of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit and reflecting its founder’s dedication to improving quality of life through health care research and education, Intellisphere® publishes a variety of integrated print and digital products focusing on a range of topics in research and clinical medicine.
To build a comprehensive multimedia and education platform, Hennessy added companies and capabilities to the MJH Life Sciences™ portfolio. In 2004, he acquired HRA® (Healthcare Research Analytics), which has been the leader in health care market research for over 30 years. In 2005, Hennessy acquired ArcMesa Educators, LLC, leaders in online certification for physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other health care professionals.
In February 2008, Hennessy acquired the rights to the journals Pharmacy Times® and The American Journal of Managed Care®, both recognized in their respective markets as authoritative, trusted media platforms that provide essential information to a large audience of health care professionals.
In April 2011, MJH Life Sciences™ acquired Physicians’ Education Resource®, LLC (PER®), an accredited continuing medical education company that is an industry leader in producing high-quality, first-rate oncology and hematology meetings and conferences. The PER® acquisition included a variety of multichannel enduring educational activities, as well as the rights to legacy medical meetings, such as the annual Miami Breast Cancer Conference®.
Hennessy’s commitment to improving the lives of patients with cancer is deeply rooted within the halls of MJH Life Sciences™. As a complement to the industry-leading OncLive® platform, he developed the Giants of Cancer Care® awards to recognize the leaders and pioneers who often go unrecognized for their contributions to advancing oncology care.
He further strengthened his commitment to education by acquiring CURE Media Group in 2014, followed by the purchase of the Chemotherapy Foundation Symposium, in his quest to provide oncology professionals with focused education on innovative cancer therapy.
In 2019, MJH Life Sciences™ made its largest acquisition to date when it acquired the Healthcare and Industry Sciences divisions of UBM Medica, nearly doubling the size of the organization and adding legacy titles such as Medical Economics® to an already impressive portfolio. This acquisition made the organization the largest independently owned medical communications company in North America.
Later in 2019, Hennessy elevated his own role to chairman while naming his son, Mike Hennessy Jr., to assume the leadership role of the organization and carry on the family legacy. Under Mike Jr.’s leadership, the company enhanced its global potential by entering a long-term partnership with BDT Capital Partners, LLC, in November 2021.
Hennessy’s true passion was his relationship with his wife, Patrice “Patti” Hennessy. After they met in college, Hennessy devoted his life to Patti and his family, raising four wonderful children, Shannon, Ashley, Mike Jr., and Chris. Hennessy was Patti’s rock as she bravely battled cancer for almost 10 years until her death in January 2020.
Hennessy recently honored Patti by making a donation to Rider University to expand the Science and Technology Center at their alma mater. The Mike & Patti Hennessy Science and Technology Center is set to be completed in 2022.
Hennessy’s legacy and “family first” mantra will live on through his children; their spouses, Matt, Phil, Rachel and Jordan; and his 10 grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and MJH Life Sciences™ family.