Steve Walsh, President & Chief Executive Officer 

ImageSteve Walsh joined the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) as president and CEO in November 2017.
A member of the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE), Walsh previously served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals (MCCH), an organization he led since 2014. During his tenure, Walsh worked with executives from Massachusetts healthcare institutions to promote and drive innovative change in healthcare delivery, policy and regulation. 

Prior to MCCH, Walsh served six terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and was appointed chairman of the House Committee on Health Care Financing in 2011. He oversaw the drafting and passage of the Commonwealth’s 2012 landmark healthcare payment reform law, Chapter 224. This legislation incentivized utilization of alternative payment methodologies and investment in community health, while encouraging patient empowerment and primary care. He was also a conferee of Chapter 288 of the Acts of 2010, the Commonwealth's small business health care legislation.

Walsh is a graduate of Wesleyan University, the New England School of Law, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Patricia Crowley, CAE, Vice President, Governance and Member Relations

Image 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

Image 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.

Patricia M. Noga, PhD, RN, MBA, NEA-BC, FAAN, Vice President, Clinical Affairs

Image 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 and has been inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing. 

Michael E. Sroczynski, Esq., Senior Vice President, Government Advocacy

Image Michael Sroczynski, Senior 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 on 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.

Valerie Fleishman. Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer

Image Valerie Fleishman is Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer.  She leads strategic initiatives, innovation and new business development for MHA.  Valerie is a seasoned health care leader with experience in health systems, innovation and policy.  She has deep expertise building coalitions, forming strategic partnerships and fostering collaboration across the health care system. 

Prior to joining MHA, Valerie served as Executive Director of the Network for Excellence in Health Innovation (NEHI) where she provided strategic direction, overseeing the organization’s innovation research, programs, events, governance, membership and operations. She joined NEHI at its founding and has authored numerous reports, articles and briefs on a range of health policy and innovation issues. Prior to NEHI, she worked in management, strategy and technology consulting in health care.

Valerie received her BA from Harvard University and her MBA from the Harvard Business School. She serves on several nonprofit health care boards.  

Chair: Joseph A. White, MBA, FACHE, President & CEO, Circle Health, Inc. and Lowell General Hospital.  

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 chair 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.

Chair-Elect: Eric W. Dickson, MD, MHCM, FACEP, President & CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care, Inc.

Dr. Dickson is president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care, the largest not-for-profit health care system in central Massachusetts with $2.3 billion in annual revenue, 1,700 physicians and more than 12,000 employees. It is also the clinical partner of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. This four hospital healthcare system has over 1000 licensed beds and includes 1,100 employed UMass Memorial Medical Group physicians. Dr. Dickson also serves as a Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Prior to being named president and CEO of the health care system, Dr. Dickson served as president UMass Memorial Medical Group and senior associate dean at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The UMass Memorial Medical Group is a subsidiary of UMass Memorial Health Care and is a 1,100 physician, 1,000 employee multidisciplinary medical group with revenues of over $470 million. He served as the head of the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and interim chief operating officer for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.

Dr. Dickson completed his medical degree and residency training in emergency medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and has a Masters Degree in Health Care Management from Harvard University. Dr. Dickson has served as a member of the Baldrige National Quality Award Board of Examiners, lectures nationally on the use of the Toyota Production System in healthcare and is an active faculty member for the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, where he works with health systems around the world to reduce healthcare costs while improving quality.

Treasurer: Kevin B. Churchwell, MD, President & Chief Operating Officer, Boston Children's Hospital

Kevin B. Churchwell, MD, is President and Chief Operating Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital. He provides leadership, direction, integration and oversight for the medical delivery system, while partnering with the Chief Executive Officer on a full range of research, clinical, academic, operational and strategic issues.

Prior to joining Boston Children’s Dr. Churchwell was Chief Executive Officer for Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, DE. As the lead administrator in the Delaware Valley, Dr. Churchwell was actively driving efforts to increase the quality and affordability of care for all children. Under his leadership, the Leapfrog Group recognized Nemours duPont as one of 12 safest children’s hospitals. In the 2012-2013 Best Children’s Hospital edition of U.S. News & World Report, Nemours ranked in 9 out of the 10 programs recognized by the publication.

A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Vanderbilt Medical School in Nashville, Dr. Churchwell completed his pediatric residency and a clinical fellowship in Pediatric Critical Care at Children's Hospital Boston. Since 1993, Dr. Churchwell has been a clinician and faculty member at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He is a diplomat for the National Board of Medical Examiners and is board certified with the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Churchwell was appointed the Robert and Dana Smith Associate Professor of Anesthesia at the Harvard Medical School.

Secretary: Christine C. Schuster, RN, MBA, President & CEO, Emerson Hospital

ImageMs. Schuster has over 25 years of health care experience. Prior to joining Emerson in 2005, she served as President and CEO of Quincy Medical Center and previously Athol Memorial Hospital. She also served as Chief Operating Officer of the Extended Care Division of Tenet Saint Vincent Healthcare System in Worcester and director of critical care at New England Deaconess Hospital. Early in her career, she was a healthcare consultant with Coopers & Lybrand. Ms. Schuster received her MBA, with honors, from the University of Chicago Booth Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Boston University. 

She currently serves as Chairman of Power Options, a leading energy buying consortium in Massachusetts as well as a Board Member of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals, MA Chapter of the American College of Health Care Executives, and the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association (MHA) Board of Directors. She is also a Corporator for Middlesex Bank. She currently serves on the MHA Standing Committee on Finance and Political Action Committee. 

In 2011, Ms. Schuster received the Citizen of the Year Award from the Concord Chamber of Commerce as well the Prescription for Excellence Award from the Mass Medical Health Law Report. She also received the 2016 and 2009 American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award and the 2008 Maynard Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award. She was also recognized by Modern Healthcare magazine and Witt Kieffer Associates as one of their Up and Comer Award recipients.

Immediate Past Chair: Mark A. Keroack, MD, MPH, President & CEO, Baystate Health, and Chair, Board of Directors, Health New England

ImageMark 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.


Past Chair Most Recently Retired: Kate E. Walsh, MPH, President & CEO, Boston Medical Center

ImageKate 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.