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Dr. Duane J. DiFranco, MD, was born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan. He received his elementary education in his family’s home parish school, Sacred Heart in Dearborn, and is a graduate of Dearborn Divine Child High School. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and premedical science from the University of Notre Dame in 1989 and his Medical degree from the University of Michigan, where he also went on to complete residency training in General Adult Psychiatry. Dr. DiFranco maintains active board certification in his field.
Currently, Dr. DiFranco is Senior Medical Director at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. His primary responsibilities include oversight of utilization management functions for the Michigan Blues’ enterprise, and he co-chairs Blue Cross Blue Shield’s Opioid Abuse Task Force. Dr. DiFranco has been active within managed care for the past 21 years, having joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Heath System early in his career. There, he led the University’s Managed Behavioral Health Care Division at M-CARE while also teaching psychiatry residents and providing clinical care to patients. He left the University in 2007 to join Blue Care Network as Medical Director for Behavioral Health. Dr. DiFranco’s professional accomplishments include the design and implementation of a web-based patient portal—the M-STRIDES system—at the University of Michigan Depression Center and the implementation of a smoking cessation campaign at Blue Care Network that resulted in the largest decrease in tobacco use among Michigan health plans in 2016.
Dr. DiFranco, his wife, and their five children are parishioners at Our Lady of Good Counsel parish in Plymouth, Michigan. Their children attend or have attended Our Lady of Good Counsel School, Spiritus Sanctus Academy (Plymouth), Detroit Catholic Central (Novi), Father Gabriel Richard High School (Ann Arbor), the University of Notre Dame and Lawrence Technological University. Dr. DiFranco’s previous affiliations with Christian charities include 18 years as a board member, including 3 years as Board President, with the Lennon Pregnancy Center in Dearborn. He currently serves as the chair of Catholic Charities’ Programs Committee.