Lynn Nicholas, FACHE, President & Chief Executive Officer
Lynn Nicholas, FACHE, joined the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) as president and CEO in August 2007, bringing more than 35 years of hospital and association experience.
Before her appointment to MHA, Nicholas led the American Diabetes Association and prior to that, she served as president and CEO of the Louisiana Hospital Association, following her tenure as EVP/COO of the New Jersey Hospital Association. This built on her 20 years working in a New Jersey hospital where she progressed from a medical technologist to a senior vice president.
Named by Women's Business Boston as one of the "Five Women to Watch" in 2008, Nicholas is a member of the Massachusetts Women's Forum, a chapter of the International Women’s Forum, an organization comprised of women leaders in Massachusetts and throughout the world. Nicholas has been appointed to several key statewide healthcare advisory groups, including the Special Commissions on the Healthcare Payment System and Provider Price Reform, and currently serves on the Health Policy Commission Advisory Council. She is a sought after speaker on matters of health policy and leadership in Massachusetts and nationally.
Due to Nicholas’ steadfast commitment to health and wellness as a leadership priority, MHA was awarded the Boston Business Journal's inaugural Healthiest Employer Award for the small business category, and the association also received the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Make Smoking History Award for launching a successful statewide voluntary public health initiative to ban all tobacco products from hospital campuses.
Nicholas earned her bachelor’s in medical technology from Tennessee Wesleyan College and subsequently received its J. Neal Ensminger Distinguished Alumnus Award. She earned a master’s in health management from Central Michigan University and is a board-certified Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. She served on their national board from 2003 to 2006 and has received both the Early Careerist and the Senior Level Health Care Executive Regents Award. She was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters in Health Services from Salem State University.
Lynn resides in Boston with her husband "Nick."
Timothy F. Gens, Executive Vice President and General Counsel
Tim Gens is Executive Vice President and the General Counsel at the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association. The point person on a number of the association's most important and sweeping activities — from creation of the patient safety and quality care initiative that has become PatientCareLink to positioning the hospital community at the center of the state's historic healthcare reform effort — he leads a team of committed advocates, policy analysts, and lobbyists. Now in his 18th year at MHA, he has served in several leadership positions involving public policy and reform of the healthcare system, private and public regulation of hospitals, and initiatives to promote improvement in patient safety and quality care. Tim also oversees legal affairs for the association.
Prior to joining MHA, Tim served in or consulted to the public sector at the federal, state, and municipal levels. He has held senior positions responsible for policy, planning, development, marketing, and legal counsel services. Early in his career he served as a management and marketing strategist for a national consulting firm and eventually formed a company which provided similar services to public, private, and non-profit sector clients across the country.
Tim holds a BA from Boston College and a JD from Boston College Law School.
Christine A. Baratta, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Christine Baratta serves as the Vice President of Communications and Marketing and oversees all member, media and public outreach efforts related to strategic and policy positions taken by the association. Prior to her arrival at MHA, Christine served as Senior Vice President of Communications and Marketing at Caritas Christi Health Care (CCHC), now Steward Health Care.
Christine also worked as Director and Interim Vice President of Public Affairs at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), one of the nation’s top hospitals affiliated with Harvard Medical School and a member of Partners HealthCare. In addition, she has held positions in both media relations and marketing at National Grid, formerly New England Electric System, and worked as a publications specialist for the Central Artery / Tunnel Project.
During her career, Christine has been honored with numerous professional awards of excellence. She is a graduate of Boston University where she earned a B.S. in Journalism. She is also a 2010 Fellow of the Mass. Healthcare Leadership College.
Patricia Crowley, CAE, Vice President, Governance and Member Relations
Patty Crowley, Vice President, Governance and Member Relations, oversees the integration and leadership of multiple functions including Governance, Member Relations, and Strategic Planning, in support of advancing MHA's mission, goals and objectives.
Patty's prior service to MHA includes roles as Chief of Staff and member of MHA's senior management team, where she primarily was responsible for aligning strategic processes with tactical planning to advance MHA's mission as well as directing MHA's Governance function. In her 20 plus years at MHA, Patty also has held numerous posts within the Member Services and Executive Office as well as with the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals. Prior to joining MHA, Patty was employed by BayBank Harvard Trust as a key member of their Operations Team.
Her interests include governance, strategic planning, mediation and coaching.
Steven Defossez, MD, EMHL, Vice President, Clinical Integration
Steven Defossez, MD, EMHL, is vice president of clinical integration for the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA). Dr. Defossez was a multi-term medical staff president at Northeast Hospital Corp., and led physician engagement during Northeast’s affiliation with Lahey Health System. A radiologist and MRI specialist, his collaborative leadership skills and respect landed him on the new health system board.
At MHA Dr. Defossez works to provide value to, and enhance collaboration with, hospital-affiliated medical practices, as well as serving as a liaison to hospital-employed physicians. A strong patient advocate, he continues to practice MRI one day a week.
Dr. Defossez is passionate about the benefits of a transformed delivery system. In December 2014, he finished an executive master’s in healthcare leadership at Brown University. He received his BA and MD from Tufts University before training at Duke University, and he also completed a Harvard fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. Originally from Chicago, Dr. Defossez currently resides in Boxford and has four children.
Anuj K. Goel, Vice President, Legal and Regulatory Affairs
Anuj Goel, JD, MPH, is the vice president of legal and regulatory affairs for the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association. In this role, he is responsible for providing legal research on relevant federal, state and local laws and regulations pertaining to the hospital industry; including issues relating to HIPAA, Medicare, MassHealth, case management, clinical policies, and processing of medical claims. He also develops MHA member communications to educate hospitals on the requirements needed to comply with regulatory and legal issues. Anuj works closely with the MHA Government Advocacy Team to coordinate and write legislation required by the association, as well as presenting testimony on legislation and regulations. Additionally, he manages health access, community benefits, and community initiative issues impacting the hospital community.
Anuj’s extensive healthcare background includes prior positions as a surgical assistant, a medical assistant, and in medical billing and coding. Anuj received his bachelor’s degree from the Miami University of Ohio; his master’s degree in public health from Boston University; and his juris doctorate from the Suffolk University School of Law.
Patricia M. Noga, PhD, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, Vice President, Clinical Affairs
Pat Noga is Vice President of Clinical Affairs for the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association. She leads a variety of clinical and health system-related programs that assist Massachusetts hospitals to continually improve patient safety and quality of care, while keeping the patient and family at the center of the healthcare delivery system.
Pat served since 2007 as MHA’s Senior Director of Clinical Affairs. Prior to joining the MHA staff, she was Chief Retention Officer at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center from 2004 to 2007, and Clinical Director of Inpatient Services & Nursing at Tufts Medical Center from 1994-2004, and Nurse Manager at Tufts MC from 1984 to 1994. In all of these positions, Pat provided nursing and advisory leadership to the hospital’s executive leaders and clinical staff.
Pat received her Associate in Liberal Arts degree from Elmira College and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Skidmore College. She received her MBA from Suffolk University and her doctoral degree in health policy from the University of Massachusetts. She is board certified in nursing administration, advanced, through the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
Nancy Siopes, MBA, CPCU, CIC, CRM, AAI, President, MHA Insurance Agency (MHAIA) and Vice President, Operations at MHA
Nancy Siopes, President, MHA Solutions: Insurance and Benefits, and Vice President, Operations, oversees both the association’s insurance arm and its operations departments, including Finance, Education, IT, Facilities, and Human Resources. She is also responsible for oversight of MHA’s new Conference Center. She joined MHAIA in 2010 and assumed the new, combined role in January of 2013.
In her first two years at the helm of MHA Solutions, Nancy overhauled and brought the insurance agency to state-of-the-art capability within its organizational structure, streamlined operations, and expanded both coverage offerings and customer services to MHA members. Her vision and leadership skills are now expanded to Operations and ensure that MHA will continue to move forward successfully.
Prior to her work at MHA, Nancy held several senior positions within the finance and insurance industries. She is an MBA graduate of Western New England College and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business from Northeastern University, both with high honors.
Michael E. Sroczynski, Esq., Vice President, Government Advocacy
Michael Sroczynski, Vice President of Government Advocacy, oversees state and federal government outreach efforts for MHA. He is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the association’s efforts before the legislative and executive branch of government and is an active participant in numerous statewide business, healthcare and advocacy coalitions and partnerships.
Mike joined MHA in 1999 and has been a leading advocate for the hospital community throughout the state and federal healthcare reform efforts. Prior to joining MHA, he served as legislative counsel in the Massachusetts State Senate.
A long-time member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Health Council, Mike currently serves as president of the organization. He also serves of the board of directors of the Vision Coalition Massachusetts and is a former board member of the Massachusetts Center for Nursing. He also served as a gubernatorial appointment to the state's Healthcare Workforce Advisory Council from 2009-14.
Mike is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law and the Whitman School of Business at Syracuse University. He has been a member of the Massachusetts bar since 1996 and is an active member of the Boston Bar Association.
Kate E. Walsh, MPH, Chair, President & CEO, Boston Medical Center
Kate Walsh became the president and CEO of Boston Medical Center (BMC) on March 1, 2010.
BMC is a private, not-for-profit, 496 bed academic medical center with a community-based focus. The primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine, Boston Medical Center has approximately 4,500 employees, 1,200 physicians and an annual operating budget of roughly $1.0 billion. BMC is a founder of Boston HealthNet, a network affiliation of the Medical Center, Boston University School of Medicine and 14 community health centers. Boston HealthNet is an integrated healthcare delivery system whose partners provide outreach, prevention, primary care, specialty care and dental services at sites throughout Boston's neighborhoods and Quincy.
In addition to the Medical Center and its affiliated community health centers, BMC owns and operates the BMC HealthNet Plan, a statewide Medicaid Managed Care Organization with more than 280,000 members across the commonwealth.
Prior to her appointment at Boston Medical Center, Ms. Walsh served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brigham and Women’s Hospital for five years. She served previously as the chief operating officer for Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research.
Ms. Walsh began her career in healthcare as a summer intern at Brookside Health Center in the Boston neighborhood of Jamaica Plain. Upon finishing graduate school, she held positions in a number of New York City hospitals including Montefiore, Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Saint Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital Center and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. She relocated to Boston and joined Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) as an assistant general director in medical services and was promoted to vice president of medical services and primary care and then to senior vice president of medical services and the MGH Cancer Center.
Ms. Walsh received her bachelor’s of arts degree and a master’s degree in public health from Yale University. She is a member of the Boards of Trustees of Emmanuel College, the YMCA of Greater Boston, the Boston Public Health Commission, the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association, the Council of Teaching Hospitals, and the Dean’s council of the Yale University School of Medicine. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, the Health Care Institute and the Boston Green Ribbon Commission.
Ms. Walsh, a native of Brookline, is married and has two children.
Mark A. Keroack, MD, MPH, Chair-Elect, President & CEO, Baystate Health, and Chair, Board of Directors, Health New England
Mark A. Keroack provides strategic, financial, and operational oversight for all services at Baystate Health and its subsidiary health plan, Health New England. The clinical delivery system includes Baystate Medical Center, the tertiary care academic medical center for Western Massachusetts; three community hospitals in Greenfield, Palmer, and Ware; Baystate Medical Practices, with its 600 providers in 75 practices across the region; Baystate’s research and educational programs; the Baystate VNA and Hospice; and several other subsidiaries and joint ventures. Prior to his current role, Dr. Keroack served as system chief operating officer from April 2013 through June 2014 and as chief physician executive and president, Baystate Medical practices from June 2011 through April 2013.
He came to Baystate Health from University HealthSystem Consortium (UHC) in Oak Brook, Illinois where he served as senior vice president and chief medical officer. Prior to his national work, Dr. Keroack served on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts for 12 years. During that time, he focused on HIV and AIDS care and won five annual teaching awards. Beginning in 1995, Dr. Keroack took on a more administrative role, serving as the first president of the 700-physician UMass Memorial Medical Group and the vice president of Medical Management for UMass Memorial Health Care. He has authored over 50 publications.
Dr. Keroack is a graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Medical School and received his MPH from Boston University. He trained in internal medicine and infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Bruce S. Auerbach, MD, FACEP, Treasury, President & CEO, Sturdy Memorial Hospital
Bruce S. Auerbach, MD, FACEP is an accomplished, board certified Emergency Medicine physician who has held a leadership position at Sturdy Memorial Hospital in Attleboro, Massachusetts since 1987. He is currently President and CEO having moved into that role after 25 years as Vice President and Chief of Emergency and Ambulatory Services and 1 ½ years as Chief Medical Officer at Sturdy. While Dr. Auerbach spent most of his career at Sturdy Memorial Hospital, he also practiced at Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Massachusetts.
He has served as a Senior Scientist at the Harvard School of Public Health, an assistant clinical professor of community medicine Tufts University School of Medicine, and an instructor in emergency medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also a consultant for the Annals of Emergency Medicine. From 2002 - 2014 he served on the Board of Directors for Coverys (formerly Promutual Group), the largest medical liability insurance company in Massachusetts. He is also vice chair of the state Department of Public Health’s emergency medical care advisory board. He has numerous professional appointments and has received many regional and national awards for his leadership and dedication in the field of Emergency Medicine. A past president of both the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Massachusetts Chapter of ACEP (American College of Emergency Physicians), Dr. Auerbach has received several honors and awards including ACEP’s James D. Mills Outstanding Contribution to Emergency Medicine award in 2009 and a “Hero of Emergency Medicine” recognition in 2008.
Dr. Auerbach received his medical degree from Temple University School of Medicine and completed his residency training in Emergency Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. He currently serves on the Board Executive Committees of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals and the Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement Foundation. He is also the Board Chair for the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship Program. He has published and lectured extensively in emergency medicine, emphasizing challenges, cost and readmission and medical error reduction in an emergency department setting.
Joseph A. White, MBA, FACHE, Secretary, President & CEO, Lowell General Hospital and CEO, Circle Health, Inc.
Joseph White serves as President and CEO of Circle Health and Lowell General Hospital. As CEO, White leads the effort to fully realize Circle Health’s vision to be one of the best integrated healthcare systems in America. Born of collaboration among community physicians, Lowell General Hospital, Lowell Community Health Center and Circle Home, Circle Health represents a unique community-based approach to care and a force for positive change in how individuals, families and communities experience and improve their health. The collaboration supports ongoing investment in new technologies, advanced clinical expertise, the most innovative treatment approaches and medical best practices, individual and community health management, augmented by partnerships with leading academic medical centers.
Prior to his appointment as CEO, White served as President of Lowell General Hospital since 2013. He had previously served for 10 years as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the hospital. Since White joined the leadership team, Lowell General Hospital has earned both regional and national recognition for its quality of care and work environment. He played a strategic leadership role in Lowell General Hospital’s merger with Saints Medical Center in 2012, as well as the hospital’s Legacy Project, a major expansion of its main campus to construct the six-story Dahod Building in 2012.
White came to Lowell General from Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, CT where he most recently served as Vice President of Administration and was responsible for outpatient services, ambulatory care, and diagnostic services. White previously served as Director of The Emergency Medical Services Institute of Stamford Hospital in Stamford, CT.
White holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of New Haven and a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health from the University of Bridgeport. He is also a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Active in several healthcare industry organizations, White currently serves as secretary of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association and as a board member of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals. He also serves on Attorney General Maura Healey’s advisory task force on hospital and HMO community benefit guidelines. Locally, White is a former board chairman of the Greater Lowell YMCA and serves on the board of Circle Home, a community-based home health care and hospice agency based in Lowell.
Keith A. Hovan, Immediate Past Chair, President & CEO, Southcoast Health Systems, Inc. & Southcoast Hospitals Group, Inc.
Keith A. Hovan is President and Chief Executive Officer of Southcoast Health System, Inc. and Southcoast Hospitals Group, Inc., a subsidiary of Southcoast Health System. The hospital group is comprised of Charlton Memorial Hospital in Fall River, MA, St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, MA and Tobey Hospital in Wareham, MA. The Southcoast Visiting Nurses Association, Southcoast Physicians Group, Southcoast Physicians Network and the Southcoast Accountable Care Organization are also subsidiary corporations of the health system.
Mr. Hovan was appointed President and CEO of Southcoast Hospitals Group, Inc. in July 2008 and in July 2011 as President and CEO of Southcoast Health System, Inc. Previously, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Danbury Health System. Prior to Danbury Health System, Mr. Hovan was employed at Montefiore Medical Center of New York, where he served as Vice President of Clinical Services for Henry and Lucy Moses and Einstein-Weiler Hospitals. Other assignments at Montefiore included serving as Associate Hospital Director and Administrator for Surgical and Emergency Services. Previously, he served as Director of Nursing for Surgical and Emergency Services, Nurse Manager of Emergency Services, and staff nurse at Bridgeport Hospital. He holds a Master of Science degree in Nursing from Sacred Heart University (graduating first in his class with an Award for Academic Excellence), and is a member of several professional associations.
Mr. Hovan serves as Chair of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association Board, President of the National Association of Urban Hospitals, President of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals Board, and has represented the Massachusetts Hospital Association on the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board for Region 1. Mr. Hovan also chairs the Yankee Alliance Supply Chain Solutions, LLC a Group Purchasing Organization.
He has been awarded numerous honors over his career, including the Margaret Cinchack Award for Excellence in Clinical Nursing, Alpha Sigma Lambda National Honor Society, 1990 Emergency Nurses Association Nurse Manager of the Year Award, and in 2013 Becker’s Healthcare 130 Not-for-profit CEO’s to Know, the New England Arthritis Foundation 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, and Sacred Heart University, College of Health Professions, 2013 Alumni Leadership Award.
David E. Phelps, MBA, Past Chair, Most Recently Retired President, President & CEO, Berkshire Health Systems
David Phelps was appointed President of Berkshire Health Systems (BHS), the primary provider of health care services in Berkshire County, and Berkshire Healthcare Systems (BHCS) in 1993.
BHS affiliates include Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield and Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, both national award winning hospitals. Managed by BHS, BHCS is the largest non-profit provider of post-acute services in Massachusetts and operates 17 skilled nursing, rehabilitative care and senior housing facilities across the state, including 7 in Berkshire County. BHS and BHCS employ more than 5,000 people in Berkshire County.
Most recently, in order to ensure that residents of northern Berkshire County receive the care they need close to home, Phelps led efforts to stabilize medical services in the northern tier by supporting primary care practices, introducing and expanding other physician services in Williamstown, North Adams and Adams and establishing of a wide array of outpatient programs at the North Adams Campus of Berkshire Medical Center. In addition, Phelps has encouraged BHS support for many other community healthcare providers and service agencies in order to better address the health and wellness needs of the entire county, including the causes and consequences of the current opioid epidemic.
A Pittsfield native, Phelps attended local schools. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota and a Master of Business Administration degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York.
Phelps currently serves on the Board of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals and is its former Chair. He has previously served on the Board of the Massachusetts Hospital Association and has been as a member of the American Hospital Association’s Regional Policy Board.
He is actively involved with business leaders, government officials and numerous human services organizations throughout Berkshire County.