Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association

MHA Announces New Board Chair, Award Recipients at its 2022 Annual Meeting

Quotation marks with an EKG symbol

Boston Children’s Hospital’s Dr. Kevin B. Churchwell is the Association’s 81st Chair, as Secretary Marylou Sudders and former Berkshire Health Systems CEO David Phelps are recognized by healthcare leaders

BURLINGTON, MA – January 28, 2021 – The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA), the united voice for the commonwealth’s hospitals and health systems, held its 85th Annual Meeting today. The meeting serves as the association’s flagship event for healthcare leadership.

Kevin B. Churchwell, MD, president & CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital, was named the 81st Chair of MHA’s Board of Trustees. He succeeds Eric W. Dickson, MD, MHCM, FACEP, president & CEO of UMass Memorial Health.

As healthcare leaders approved the slate of officers to serve on the association’s Board for the following year, they also expressed unanimous confidence in its ability to lead the commonwealth’s healthcare community through the greatest set of challenges in its history.

“While the issues facing our healthcare system have never been greater, neither has our sense of unity or resolve,” said Churchwell. “It is my honor to take the helm as the Chair of MHA’s Board, as it remains at the very center of the commonwealth’s response to the pandemic and countless other critical healthcare priorities. I am excited for what we will accomplish in 2022 as we strive to build an even better, more equitable system for the patients we serve.”

Churchwell has served for several years on MHA’s Executive Committee and was the inaugural Chair of its Standing Committee on Diversity, Health Equity, and Inclusion. He has been an integral part of the association’s work to advance health equity, most notably through its push to improve board diversity across the healthcare sector.

Both Churchwell and MHA President & CEO Steve Walsh thanked Dickson for his leadership during his tenure as Board Chair. Dickson served as a tireless advocate on behalf of healthcare providers during a year of unprecedented pressures, and was a go-to, trusted voice on public health for community members.

MHA also presented two major awards: its Health and Hospital Hero Award was presented to Marylou Sudders, Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office Health and Human Services; and its William L. Lane Award was presented to David E. Phelps, former president & CEO of Berkshire Health Systems.

The Health and Hospital Hero Award was created to recognize a public official who has demonstrated outstanding advocacy on behalf of Massachusetts patients and healthcare providers. The Lane Award is given each year to a healthcare leader who has demonstrated longstanding excellence, achievement, and compassion for patients and the system at-large.

“These leaders embody everything our healthcare community strives to be,” said Walsh. 

 “Secretary Sudders has worked day and night to steer the direction of healthcare in the state during our greatest time of need,” said Dr. Anne Klibanski, president & CEO of Mass General Brigham. “Healthcare leaders in Massachusetts could not fight this battle without her unrelenting commitment to the health of patients in our communities and the wellbeing of our caregivers.”

“Dave Phelps leaves an incredible legacy for the work he has done to transform Berkshire Health Systems into a strong, trusted resource for the people of Western Massachusetts,” Walsh continued. “His influence extends far beyond the region, as he has been a guiding light for what community hospitals can accomplish throughout his decades of service.”

Incoming members of the MHA Board of Trustees:

Michael L. Gustafson, MD, MBA; president, UMass Memorial Medical Center 

Cynthia M. Page, PT, MHP, FACHE, CEO, Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Braintree 

Lynnette M. Watkins, MD, MBA, president & CEO, Cooley Dickinson Health Care 

MHA’s Executive Committee for 2022: 

Kevin B. Churchwell, MD
; president & CEO, Boston Children’s Hospital

Christine C. Schuster, RN, MBA
; president & CEO, Emerson Hospital

Kevin Tabb, MD
; president & CEO, Beth Israel Lahey Health

Michael K. Lauf, MBA
; president & CEO, Cape Cod Healthcare

Immediate Past Chair:
Eric W. Dickson, MD, MHCM, FACEP
; president & CEO, UMass Memorial Health

Past Chair Most Recently Retired:
Joseph A. White, MBA, FACHE
; president & CEO, Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health, Executive Vice President, Wellforce