Van Andel Institute welcomes health industry executive Joan Budden to Board of Trustees

Grand Rapids, Mich. (May 30, 2018) — Van Andel Institute, a world-class biomedical research organization in the field of epigenetics, is pleased to announce the appointment of Joan Budden to the Van Andel Institute Board of Trustees.

Budden is president and CEO of Priority Health, Michigan’s second largest health plan. She has more than 30 years’ experience in the health care industry. In addition to her work with Priority Health, Budden has also held various leadership and executive management positions in the health insurance industry.

“As a leading biomedical research Institute, we strive to have leaders on our Board of Trustees who possess experience and vision for the future in health care,” said Van Andel Institute chairman and CEO David Van Andel. “Joan possesses both of those attributes and we are thrilled to add her to our talented leadership team.”

Budden holds a bachelor’s degree in general studies from the University of Michigan and has a master’s degree in public administration from Wayne State University. She is very active in industry groups and serves on several statewide and regional boards including the Michigan Women’s Foundation, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce and the Detroit Economic Club.

“The Van Andel Institute is a beacon of hope and integrity in the scientific community, casting a bright light on the study of epigenetics,” said Budden. “I am honored to join the Institute’s Board of Trustees as we work together to find new treatments for people coping with cancer and Parkinson’s disease.”

In 2016, Crain’s Detroit Business named Budden as a member of its 100 Most Influential Women. In 2017, she was recognized as the Athena award winner as selected by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.


Van Andel Institute (VAI) is an independent nonprofit biomedical research and science education organization committed to improving the health and enhancing the lives of current and future generations. Established by Jay and Betty Van Andel in 1996 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, VAI has grown into a premier research and educational institution. Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), VAI’s research division, is dedicated to determining the epigenetic, genetic, molecular and cellular origins of cancer, Parkinson’s and other diseases, and translating those findings into effective therapies. The Institute is home to more than 400 scientists and support staff who work in onsite laboratories and in collaborative partnerships that span the globe. Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI) is dedicated to strengthening science education and preparing and motivating students to pursue science or science-related professions.

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