In Memoriam: Michael J. Hennessy Sr
Michael J. Hennessy Sr, founder and chairman of MJH Life SciencesTM, died on November 21, 2021. He leaves behind a successful legacy of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that continues to drive his company to deliver a “white-glove experience” as the largest privately held medical media company in North America.
He spent his career turning his passion for building businesses and creating jobs into a run of successful ventures and brands. Following Hennessy’s graduation from Rider University in 1982, he started his career in medical publishing as a sales trainee, eventually advancing to the position of chief operating officer. In 1986, he 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, Massachusetts–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 SciencesTM).
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 on a range of topics in clinical medicine and research.
To build a comprehensive multimedia and education platform, Hennessy added companies and capabilities to the MJH Life SciencesTM portfolio. In 2004, he acquired HRA® (Healthcare Research & Analytics), which has been the leader in health care market research for more than 30 years. In 2005, Hennessy acquired ArcMesa Educators®, LLC, leaders in online certification for physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and other health care professionals. Reflecting his lifelong interest in politics, Hennessy acquired Campaigns & Elections magazine in 2005, publishing the journal through Political World Communications, LLC. He sold the publication to Biteback Publishing in 2011.
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 SciencesTM 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 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 SciencesTM. 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 SciencesTM made its largest acquisition to date when it acquired the health care and industry sciences divisions of UBM Medica, nearly doubling the size of the organization and adding legacy titles such as Medical Economics® to its already impressive portfolio. This acquisition made the organization the largest independently owned medical communications company in North America. In addition to acquisitions, Hennessy organically developed ancillary in-house agency divisions with Proximyl Health®, Truth Serum NTWK®, and MJH Global Medical Affairs.
Later in 2019, Hennessy elevated his role to chairman and named Mike Hennessy Jr to assume the leadership role of the organization and carry on the family legacy. The company enhanced its global potential by entering into a long-term partnership with BDT Capital Partners, LLC, in November 2021.
Because of his broad business and educational experience, Hennessy’s counsel and insight had been sought out by several organizations, including his alma mater, Rider University, where he served on the board of trustees and was elected to the executive committee. In addition to being active in New Jersey and national politics, Hennessy also had a long record of service at the local level, where he was a strong advocate for veterans and environmental issues.
Hennessy’s true passion was his relationship with his wife, Patrice “Patti” Hennessy. After meeting her in college, Hennessy devoted his life to Patti and raising their 4 children.
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 and 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, and his 10 grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his family, his friends, and his MJH Life SciencesTM family.