Beth Israel Lahey Health’s Kevin Tabb, MD elected as the Association’s 83rd Chair and Governor Maura Healey presents special address
The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA), the united voice for the commonwealth’s hospitals and health systems, held its 87th Annual Meeting this past Thursday and Friday in Boston. The Annual Meeting serves as the association’s flagship event for healthcare leadership, convening the state’s top leaders, policymakers, and changemakers to explore the system’s greatest challenges and opportunities.
This year’s event focused on the future of healthcare through a variety of lenses, including workforce, equity, climate, politics, innovation, and leadership. Speakers highlighted the healthcare community’s recent strides in supporting the healthcare workforce, including the statewide Find Your Place in Healthcare campaign, and emphasized the need for creativity in building the next generation of talented caregivers. In her annual address, Massachusetts Governor Maura Healey echoed the critical role of healthcare professionals in driving the commonwealth’s world-class healthcare community and overall economy.
“I want to extend my gratitude to MHA for their partnership, leadership, and willingness to step out and speak out on important matters, in addition to the work we’ve been able to do together,” said Governor Healey. “Hospitals have always been an economic engine in this state, and they will continue to be. They are the largest employers in the state and the foundation of our innovation economy.”
As a part of the proceedings, Kevin Tabb, MD, President and CEO of Beth Israel Lahey Health, was elected as the 83rd Chair of MHA’s Board of Trustees. He succeeds Christine Schuster, RN, President and CEO of Emerson Health.
“Massachusetts has a long, proud history as a hub of healthcare innovation and ground-breaking discovery,” said Dr. Tabb. “As Chair of the MHA Board, I am honored to partner with leaders across the healthcare landscape to drive positive change for patients, communities, and our dedicated workforce. This year will be another transformative year in healthcare, and together we will work to expand access to high-quality, equitable patient care and advocate for progressive policy solutions that help shape the future.”
“Dr. Tabb has a bold vision for the future of Massachusetts healthcare, and we know he will help us create an even more innovative and accessible system in the year ahead,” said MHA President and CEO Steve Walsh. “Throughout his career, Dr. Tabb has helped set a national standard on what it means to match outstanding patient care with ingenuity, partnership, and humanity.”
“As we celebrate a year of successes, MHA also wishes to thank Christine Schuster for her outstanding leadership of our Board over the past twelve months,” said Walsh. “Her expertise and commitment – particularly around empowering the healthcare profession – has made a difference in every corner of the commonwealth.”
In addition to Dr. Tabb’s election as Board Chair, MHA welcomed new board members Alastair Bell, MD, CEO of Boston Medical Center; David McCready, CEO of Southcoast Health; Susan Moffatt-Bruce, MD, President of Lahey Hospital & Medical Center; and Rozanna Penney, President and CEO of Heywood Healthcare.
MHA held a special recognition of hospitals’ diversity and equity officers, who play a central role in making healthcare more inclusive, instilling anti-racism throughout every facet of care delivery, and closing persistent health disparities across the state. Those efforts are exemplified by the state’s new 1115 Medicaid Waiver, which takes a historic approach to embedding health equity within local hospitals’ operations. MHA released a report detailing this statewide commitment, which just passed the one-year mark.
“I want to underscore how mission critical the work you are doing around equity is,” continued Governor Healey. “We recognize that we have deep disparities across every measure of wellbeing. No matter what we are working on, there is going to be an equity lens for everything we do.”
In addition, MHA’s Health and Hospital Hero Award was presented to Massachusetts Representative John Lawn and Senator Cindy Friedman, co-chairs of the state’s Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, for their ongoing advocacy on behalf of the commonwealth’s healthcare organizations, patients, and caregivers.
MHA presented the Stephen Hegarty Memorial Award to James E. Fanale, MD, former President and CEO of Care New England. Following a stage-four lung cancer diagnosis in 2022, Fanale has dedicated his time to creating a more compassionate, empathetic system of care. The award is named in memory of former MHA President Stephen Hegarty, who took on the same mission in the years before his death in 1995.