Eric W. Dickson, MD, MHCM, FACEP, president & CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care was named the 80th Chair of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) today.
He succeeds Jody A. White, MBA, FACHE, president & CEO of Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health.
During a time of unparalleled turbulence for the Massachusetts healthcare system, MHA member chief executives and senior healthcare leaders today approved the recommended slate of officers as part of the association’s virtual 84th Annual Meeting. Meeting speakers reflected on what has been a historic year for providers and patients alike, and the collaboration that has helped them weather the storm.
In his inaugural address, Dickson said his top priorities include continued advancement of MHA’s “Caring for the Caregiver” initiative and the association’s work to address social determinants of health and other healthcare disparities among Massachusetts residents. The COVID-19 pandemic, he said, has challenged the entire healthcare community and its most valuable resource – our caregivers – as never before.
“Our teams are true heroes. These heroes need a break and they certainly deserve their turn to be cared for by others,” Dickson said. “The pandemic also shone a bright light on the disparities our underserved populations face daily. We as a healthcare system must prioritize caring for the patients who otherwise fall through the cracks. And we need to ensure all of our healthcare organizations – particularly our safety net hospitals – are provided with the tools that they need to care for our most vulnerable patients.”
Dickson also spoke about the remarkable collaboration that was a hallmark of 2020 for the healthcare community.
“My hope for the coming year is for all of us as healthcare leaders to remember how we came together during this challenging year and helped each other in ways we hadn’t before” he said. “We were one united health system for the commonwealth – all with one singular goal – to save as many lives as possible.”
Both Dickson and MHA President & CEO Steve Walsh
praised White for his exemplary – and extended – tenure as the association’s Board Chair. White served as Chair of the MHA board for 18 months, leading the association through its response to the historic public health crisis.
In a tribute to White, Walsh highlighted his tireless leadership and ability to bring all of the commonwealth’s healthcare interests together for the common good.
“Even in the midst of a pandemic, Jody demonstrated incredible focus and selflessness on behalf of our healthcare system,” said Walsh. “He ensured that the choreography between acute and post-acute providers, home care
agencies, state and federal regulators, insurers, and many other interests was precise and able to meet the profound challenges we all faced. Most importantly, his leadership helped keep our hospitals open and accessible to their communities.”
Throughout the Annual Meeting, MHA was honored to be joined by:
• Congressman Richard Neal (D-Mass.)
, who has been an integral advocate for patients and providers, most recently by leading the passage of federal surprise billing legislation in his role as the Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.
• State Senator Cindy Friedman (D-Arlington)
, who through her role as chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing was instrumental in the development of the state’s latest major healthcare law that solidified telemedicine’s role in our system’s future.
MHA's Executive Committee for 2021-2022 includes:
Chair: Eric W. Dickson, MD, MHCM, FACEP
; president & CEO, UMass Memorial Health Care
Chair-elect: Kevin B. Churchwell, MD
; president & CEO, Boston Children’s Hospital
Treasurer: Christine C. Schuster, RN, MBA
; president & CEO, Emerson Hospital
Secretary: Kevin Tabb, MD
; president & CEO, Beth Israel Lahey Health, Inc.
Past Chair: Joseph A. White, MBA, FACHE
; president & CEO, Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health
Past Chair Most
Recently Retired: Mark A. Keroack, MD, MPH
; president & CEO, Baystate Health
The full MHA Board of Trustees slate can be viewed here