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Lowell General Hospital President & CEO Normand E. Deschene to Chair Massachusetts Hospital Association Board; Calls for Unity,Progress

Hospital Leaders from Boston, Southborough and Worcester Also Named to Senior Posts




 June 10, 2011 

Catherine S. Bromberg

Brewster, Mass. - Normand E. Deschene, FACHE, President & CEO of Lowell General Hospital, has been named the 71st Chair of the Massachusetts Hospital Association Board of Trustees at MHA's Annual Meeting in Brewster. He succeeds Dennis D. Keefe, CEO of Cambridge Health Alliance, who held the one-year post from June 2010.

In his inaugural speech, Deschene said that he will work to be a unifier of the hospital community in this time of intense change and pressure to slow healthcare cost increases. "Every member of MHA -- whether a hospital or the firms and individuals who support the mission of hospitals -- all are involved in this field to advance the care provided to patients and families," Deschene said. "The core of what unites us is patient care. That's what will keep us together; that's what we must never lose sight of."

The theme of this year’s MHA annual meeting was “Revolution to Evolution,” symbolic of both MHA’s 75th anniversary year and the great transitions now underway with federal and state health care reform.  In her remarks before the gathering, MHA President & CEO Lynn Nicholas introduced a special MHA 75th anniversary video at the meeting, and touched on the many issues that have affected the healthcare sector overall and hospitals in particular over the past year, particularly state and federal healthcare reform. Victoria Reggie Kennedy also put in a special appearance, speaking about her late husband Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s lifelong dedication to healthcare for every US resident, and the institute she and others have founded in Kennedy’s memory. MHA presented Mrs. Kennedy with a $25,000 donation to the institute in honor of the association’s 75th anniversary.

Nicholas closed her speech with the anticipation of greater change during the upcoming year for MHA and its members, adding, “We are not complacent – the system still works too inefficiently for those who provide care, for those who pay for care, and most importantly for those who provide care,” Nicholas said. “Above all, flexibility will be key… Taking unnecessary costs out of the system is an imperative, but there must also be a primary focus on improving and maintaining broad access to care. In other words, improving the Value Equation for what Massachusetts hospitals and all other providers working in collaboration offer our citizenry.”


Also at today’s annual meeting, the Association’s leadership team was announced for 2010-2011:

  • Peter L. Slavin, M.D., President of Massachusetts General Hospital, will serve as Chair-Elect
  • Joseph J. Mullany,  President of Vanguard Health Systems New England Market, will serve as Treasurer
  • Walter H. Ettinger, President of UMass Memorial Medical Center, will serve as Secretary 

Dennis Keefe, CEO of Cambridge Health Alliance, will now serve as MHA’s Immediate Past Chair and Ellen M. Zane, MA President & CEO of Tufts Medical Center will serve as Immediate Past Chair Most Recently Retired.

Allied Position:
Elaine L. Bridge
, R.N., M.B.A., D.N.P., President of the Massachusetts Organization of Nurse Executives and Senior Vice President, Patient Care Services & CNO of Newton-Wellesley Hospital.


Class of 2012:

  • Dianne J. Anderson, RN, President & CEO, Lawrence General Hospital
  • Peter J. Holden, President & CEO, Jordan Hospital
  • John M. Lowe III, PhD, Board chair, Emerson Hospital
  • John Polanowicz, President, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center
  • R. David Richer, CEO, Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital

Class of 2013: 

  • Francis M. Saba, CEO, Milford Regional Healthcare System, Inc.
  • Michael V. Sack, FACHE, President & CEO, Hallmark Health Corporation
  • Neal J. Curtin, Esq., Trustee, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Inc.
  • John R. Fernandez, President & CEO, Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
  • Edward H. Moore, President & CEO, Harrington Hospital
  • Peter W. Siersma, MD, Trustee, Cooley-Dickinson Hospital
  • Kate Walsh, MPH, President & CEO, Boston Medical Center

In addition to these nominees, the Board chair has the latitude to nominate the chairs of each of the Clinical Issues Advisory Council (CIAC), the Standing Committee on Finance (SCOF), the Standing Committee on Public Affairs (SCOPA) and the Trustees Advisory Council (TAC).  
The Board has the opportunity to vote on these nominations at its first meeting on Friday, June 10, 2011.  The nominees are: 

  • Peter J. Holden, President & CEO, Jordan Hospital, Chair, SCOF
  • John M. Lowe, Ph.D., Board Chair, Emerson Hospital, Chair, TAC
  • John W. Polanowicz, President, St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Chair, CIAC
  • Dianne J. Anderson, R.N., MS, President & CEO, Lawrence General Hospital, Chair, SCOPA 

And chairing MHA’s Specialty Hospital CEO Council will be:

  • R. David Richer, CEO, Fairlawn Rehabilitation Hospital

The following are the current board members who will continue without requiring a vote 

  • Paul J. Andrews, Board Chair, Winchester Hospital
  • Richard H. Aubut, R.N., President & CEO, South Shore Health and Educational Corporation
  • Charles D. Gijanto, President, Baystate Franklin Medical Center
  • Keith A. Hovan, President & CEO, Southcoast Hospital Groups
  • Richard C. Lord, President & CEO, Associated Industries of Massachusetts
  • Patrick L. Muldoon, FACHE, President & CEO, HealthAlliance Hospitals
  • Lynn Nicholas, FACHE, President & CEO, Massachusetts Hospital Association
  • Delia O’Connor, President & CEO, Anna Jaques Hospital
  • Mark J. Rich, EVP, Corporate Strategy & Management, Steward Health System
  • David E. Storto, President, Partners Continuing Care