Notre Dame alum appointed to special commission by Michigan governor

Hospice of Michigan’s vice president of medical affairs is appointed to the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission.

Notre Dame alum Michael Paletta, MD, (’75), who is Hospice of Michigan’s vice president of medical affairs and chief medical officer, was recently appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder to the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Commission. Paletta joins the 21-member group, which will review the Report of Findings and Recommendations for Action from the Michigan Prescription Drug and Opiod Abuse Task Force, and develop and propose policies and an action plan to implement the report’s recommendations.

A resident of Northville, Michigan, Paletta was selected to represent Michigan hospice organizations and will serve a two-year term.

“Dr. Paletta will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Governor’s commission,” said Robert Cahill, president and CEO of Hospice of Michigan. “We are proud of his dedication to the medical field and we’re excited to see him representing Hospice of Michigan at the state government level.”

After graduating from Notre Dame in 1975, Paletta went on to earn a bachelor’s degree from Albion College in Albion, Mich., followed by a medical degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. He completed his residency at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, and is board certified in internal medicine and hospice and palliative medicine. Paletta was awarded a fellowship in geriatric medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and earned a certificate of added qualification (CAQ) in geriatrics. In addition, he is a distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine.

High school made a difference

Notre Dame figured big time in college and in his professional career, according to Paletta.

“During my time as a student and as a professional, as I got to know more and more people and could compare my reading skills, my research skills, my writing ability to what others struggled with,” he said, “I think that the discipline of [teachers] Cass Cosky, Conrad Vachon, Hal Rice, Bill Schram — I mean those guys made you better scholars, more thorough researchers, better writers, more critical thinkers!”

He also says he firmly believes that while the environment at Notre Dame definitely helped him academically, more importantly, it also helped in terms of citizenship and seeing the value of giving back to the community.

“It certainly was instrumental in my choosing a vocation where I can be of service to others. No doubt!”

Early in his medical career, Paletta also trained at the U.S. Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine and earned his wings and an aeronautical rating of chief flight surgeon. He logged operational flying hours in a variety of fighter and attack aircraft, and has commanded military medical detachments in Europe and Central America. He served for 12 years as surgeon general for the Michigan Air National Guard, headquartered in Lansing, and most recently was assigned to the Air Force Reserve.  

About Hospice of Michigan
A nationally recognized leader in end-of-life care, Hospice of Michigan is the original – and largest – hospice in the state.  The nonprofit cares for nearly 1,800 patients each day, raising more than $5 million each year to cover the cost of care for the uninsured and underinsured.  HOM offers a broad range of services to enhance the quality of life at the end of life, including community-based palliative care and pediatric care programs. HOM provides grief support and counseling, caregiver education and support, and education programs for physicians and health care professionals through its research, training and education arm, the Hospice of Michigan Institute. In January 2016, HOM joined forces with Arbor Hospice and Palliative Care, strengthening the mission of nonprofit hospice in Michigan to ensure patients and their caregivers receive the highest quality of care. For more information, call 888-247-5701 or visit

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About Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy

Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy is a private, Catholic, independent, coeducational day school located in Oakland County. The school's upper division enrolls students in grades nine through twelve and has been named one of the nation's best 50 Catholic high schools (Acton Institute) four times since 2005. Notre Dame's middle and lower divisions enroll students in jr. kindergarten through grade eight. All three divisions are International Baccalaureate "World Schools." The Marist Fathers and Brothers sponsor NDPMA's Catholic identity and manages its educational program. Notre Dame is accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools, the Independent Schools Association of the Central States and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement. For more on Notre Dame Preparatory School and Marist Academy, visit the school's home page at