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NHs New Hospital Leadership
Published Friday, December 1, 2017

The wave of Baby Boomers retiring, as well as an improved economy, has led to a reshuffling in NH’s health care sector. Eight hospitals and one health system, or 30 percent of the state’s 26 hospitals, have seen new leaders come on board (or in one case a former leader return) in the past year alone. We reached out to these leaders to ask about their priorities in the coming year.

President, Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital in Colebrook

Started in Current Position: August 2016
Number of patient beds:16
Number of employees: 132
Previous Position: Senior vice president of sales and executive director for NH for Minuteman Health Inc. and executive vice president of the NH Medical Society

Why did you take/seek this position?
“I have been working in the health care field for 30 years and have been working in New Hampshire’s health care industry for over 20 years. I believe that those of us in this industry are truly fortunate to work in an area that has such a deep and profound impact on people. When we think of health care, we often think of the work our dedicated clinicians do, as we should. However, I believe that those of us in the health care industry who support the work of our clinicians also play an important role in making a real impact on people. I sincerely hope that my efforts in support of the mission of the hospital and our employees and professional staff will truly have an impact on the people in our community.”

Top Priorities/Projects/Goals for 2017/2018:
•     Creating and improving on existing systems and processes that will ensure access to quality health care at an affordable price. 
•     Expanding access to health care, including improving behavioral health services in the emergency department and launching a cardiac rehabilitation program.
•    Working within its health care system, North Country Health care, to realize operational efficiencies while improving access to care to create an improved patient experience throughout the North Country.


President and CEO of Elliot Health System in Manchester

Started in Current Position: March 2017
Number of patient beds: 296
Number of employees: 3,800
Previous Position: President and CEO of Elliot Health System in Manchester (Started previous tenure in 1998 and retired in 2014)

Why did you take/seek this position?
“I have an unyielding belief in Elliot, so when I was invited to come out of retirement, I saw it as an opportunity that would allow me to work with people that I have a great deal of respect for in the work they do.  Unfortunately, I was sick early into my retirement. However, the care I received at Elliot was first rate, and the compassion I experienced was really incredible and powerful. It had a big impact on me. I appreciate everything that was done for me, so I see this is a way to say thank you and show my appreciation for what everyone did for me.”

Top Priorities/Projects/Goals for 2017/2018:
•    Define a strategy to cooperate with another organization to increase access and improve the quality of health care for the state. 
•     Support the management team in navigating complex issues in health care including the opioid and mental health crisis as well as the burgeoning needs of the aging population in the state. “Virtually every aspect of health care will be impacted by the aging population, and we need to start talking about the need for skilled care and assisted living, for example, and plan for that.”


President & CEO of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health in Lebanon

Started in Current Position: August 2017
Number of patient beds: 650 system wide
Number of employees: 12,000 system wide
Previous Position: CEO of Lahey Hospital and Medical Center in Burlington, Mass.

Why did you take/seek this position?
"This is a great opportunity to contribute to the health care of people living in New Hampshire, southern Vermont and Maine. It was an opportunity to give back to the community that invested in me as an undergraduate scholarship student at Dartmouth College.”

Top Priorities/Projects/Goals for 2017/2018:
• Connect with our internal and external communities.
• Continue to build, expand and strengthen Dartmouth-Hitchcock as an effective health care trust for northern New England.
• “Focus on getting better at what we do every day.”


President & CEO of LRGHealthcare in Laconia

Started in Current Position: June 2016
Number of patient beds: 171
Number of employees: 1,451
Previous Position: Served as president and CEO of Mt. Ascutney Hospital & Health Center in Windsor, Vt. for six years.

Why did you take/seek this position?
"It is an opportunity to work in the state in which I’ve lived for the last 18 years and to try and rise to the challenge of re-energizing LRGHealthcare as a stable, quality provider of health care to its community.”

Top Priorities/Projects/Goals for 2017/2018:
• Continue on our total quality management journey towards ISO-9001 certification ensuring that we provide excellent, quality care to our community.
• Invest in technology and facilities—including the rollout of our enterprise-wide medical record [technology] and a renovated emergency room facility—to improve patient health and experience.
• Hire, develop and engage talented staff that are aligned to improve patient experiences and meet the challenges of providing care in the most efficient and quality focused manner possible.


President of Weeks Medical Center in Lancaster

Started in Current Position: September 2016
Number of patient beds: 25
Number of employees: 310
Previous Position: Chief human resources officer, interim COO and interim nursing home administrator for Adirondack Health in Saranac Lake, NY

Why did you take/seek this position?
“The great community and employees.”

Top Priorities/Projects/Goals for 2017/2018:
• Collaborate with the newly created North Country Healthcare.
• Improve quality and patient satisfaction.
• Improve efficiencies and reduce costs.


President & CEO of Southern NH Health System in Nashua

Started in Current Position: July 2016
Number of patient beds: 188
Number of employees: 2,540
Previous Position: CFO of Southern NH Health System from January 2007 to June 2016.

Why did you take/seek this position?
“Having been part of the executive team at Southern New Hampshire Health for 11 years, I was privileged to be given this leadership opportunity to continue the momentum that has seen SNHH evolve as a strong and stable mission-driven organization serving a community of nearly half a million residents of Southern New Hampshire. At a time when our community’s need for local access to affordable, high quality care is growing amidst turbulence in the health care environment, I am dedicated to assuring we continue to be advocates and stewards on behalf of our community, and responsive to meeting the diverse needs of those we serve. My goal is to assure SNHH, having proudly served the greater Nashua community with distinction for more than 125 years, continues to uphold and enhance our mission to improve the health of the community as we navigate a myriad of changes within the industry.”

Top Priorities/Projects/Goals for 2017/2018:
• Responding to the opioid crisis.
• Improving access to mental health services.
• Preparing for the health care needs of an aging population.


President of Littleton Regional Healthcare in Littleton

Started in Current Position: January 2017
Number of patient beds: 25
Number of employees: 409

Previous Position: Vice president and COO at Mercy Health System in Portland, Maine  

Why did you take/seek this position?
“I was very interested in leading a small rural hospital, and add to that the fact that LRH was among four hospitals in northern New Hampshire to recently affiliate as a system health care provider [North Country Healthcare] made this opportunity even more appealing. The chance to lead a health care organization in the formative stages of a newly developed system, new to New Hampshire and across the U.S., offers many opportunities for growth and improvement.”  

Top Priorities/Projects/Goals for 2017/2018:
• Improve the health of the community. “As part of our Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) that hospitals are required to conduct every three years, the highest areas of health care needs are identified. Our most recent CHNA was a joint effort with all four affiliated hospitals representing North Country Healthcare. The top five areas identified as the leading health care needs for this region include substance misuse, obesity/overweight, alcohol abuse, smoking/tobacco use and mental health problems. Member hospitals will focus on these areas as priorities to improve the health of the community.”  
• Transition to a physician-led organization. “Inclusion of physicians in management and leadership results in patient satisfaction,” he says.  
• To maximize operational efficiencies. “As a member of North Country Healthcare, we must work together to create strategic plans that include optimizing the cost of operations while improving the patient experience and quality of care. We can accomplish this by restructuring resources, eliminating duplication, coordinating efforts and by including physicians in leadership and decision making.”


CEO of Parkland Medical Center in Derry

Started in Current Position: September 2016
Number of patient beds: 86
Number of employees: 586
Previous Position: COO of Parkland Medical Center for eight years. He has been with Parkland Medical Center for more than 30 years.

Why did you take/seek this position?
“It was a natural progression of the job that I was doing, and I wanted to be able to facilitate the continued transformation of the facility as the leader in quality, safety and patient experience.”

Top Priorities/Projects/Goals for 2017/2018:
•    “Our main focus is on people, which includes our employees, physicians and provider staff. We want to ensure that we have an engaged staff, because an engaged staff leads to a better patient experience and improved safety for our patients. There is a direct correlation between staff satisfaction and patient outcomes, so you have to make staff the main focus in order to take great care of your patients.”  
•     Strategic priorities for the hospital continue to be on expanding inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services to help meet the community need.


CEO of North Country Healthcare in Littleton

Started in Current Position: April 2016
Number of patient beds: 4 Hospitals with 25 Beds each
Number of employees: 1,500
Previous Position: CEO of Littleton Regional Healthcare

Why did you take/seek this position?
“The opportunity to build a health care system in the North Country that would not only assure much needed access to care, but also assure the financial stability of the four hospitals and one home health agency, which are the largest employers in the region, was very appealing to me. The chance to engage organizations in the North Country to address the health indicators and social determinants in the region and to improve the health status of those who live here is a challenge I wanted to embrace.”  

Top Priorities/Projects/Goals for 2017/2018:
• Develop a clinically integrated network with the four hospitals, one home health agency and three federally qualified health centers in the region.
• Develop [NCH] as an integrated delivery system.
• Ensure great health care access to the citizens of the North Country, assuring each of the hospitals’ and the home health agency’s financial viability.

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