Cambridge Health Alliance announces CEO selection

CAMBRIDGE – The Cambridge Health Alliance Board of Trustees today announced the selection of Patrick Wardell as the new Chief Executive Officer for Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA). Mr. Wardell currently serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan.

The Board of Trustees reviewed three finalists following multiple interviews and unanimously chose Mr. Wardell at this morning’s Board meeting. Mr. Wardell’s appointment as Cambridge Health Alliance’s new Chief Executive Officer is contingent on contract negotiations.

Throughout the selection process, Mr. Wardell impressed the Board with his broad knowledge and understanding of safety net institutions and population health and, more important, how to position health systems like CHA amid national and local health care reform to improve, innovate, and modernize how care is provided to patients.

“This is a critical time for CHA and for health care delivery systems everywhere,” said Board Chair Mary Cassesso.

“Given his more than 15 years of experience as a CEO for safety net institutions, the Board of Trustees and I believe we have the right person to steer this institution through such a crucial period and we’re very pleased with the caliber of candidates we attracted during this very deliberative search process.”

“I’m excited to be joining CHA at a pivotal time and honored to serve an institution with such a proud and strong safety net mission and extremely competent staff,” said Mr. Wardell. “I look forward to the challenges and furthering CHA’s national reputation for health care innovation and commitment to its communities.”

Mr. Wardell replaces Dennis D. Keefe, who resigned in July 2011 to become CEO of Care New England in Rhode Island. For the last six months, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Allison Bayer has served as Acting CEO, a role she will continue during the transition. It is expected Mr. Wardell will join CHA in early to mid-March.

Mr. Wardell has spent the last six years as the President and CEO at Hurley Medical Center, a $360 million, 463-bed teaching hospital that provides residency programs in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and radiology. As President and CEO, Mr. Wardell reversed a seven-year cumulative loss of $34 million to a $7 million surplus in two years. He also established the Hurley Children’s Hospital, constructed a $30 million state-of-the-art emergency trauma center caring for 90,000 patients annually, and introduced patient family-centered care and Six Sigma principles to Hurley Medical Center.

Before joining Hurley, Mr. Wardell served in various leadership roles, including Regional Senior Vice President and Executive Director for St. Mary’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in New York, NY, President and CEO of the St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Paterson, New Jersey, and as Group Vice President, Ambulatory and Network Management Group for the Montefiore Medical Center/The University Hospital for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York.

Mr. Wardell received his Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Union College in New York and his Masters in Business Administration from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. He has served on various boards including the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH), Michigan Hospital Association, and Whaley Children’s Center.

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