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Cambridge Health Alliance names Patrick Wardell new CEO

Posted by Brock Parker  January 24, 2012 03:22 PM

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The Cambridge Health Alliance announced today that it has selected a new chief executive officer to replace Dennis D. Keefe, who resigned in July.

Patrick Wardell, president and chief executive officer at Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Mich., will be the new CEO for the alliance contingent on contract negotiations, the Health Alliance said in a press release today.

The Board of Trustees for the Cambridge Health Alliance unanimously selected Wardell after the board was impressed by his broad knowledge and understanding of safety net institutions and how to position health systems to reform, improve, innovate and modernize how care is provided to patients amid national and local health care reform, according to the Alliance.

"This is a critical time for [the Cambridge Health Alliance] and for health care delivery systems everywhere," said Mary Cassesso, the chair of the board, in a statement released Tuesday. "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 process."

Wardell was selected from three finalists for the position, which Keefe resigned from to become the chief executive officer of Care New England in Rhode Island. While the search for Keefe's permanent replacement was underway, Allison Bayer, the executive vice president and chief operating officer, served as the acting chief executive officer for the Alliance.

Wardell has spent the last six years as president and chief executive officer at Hurley Medical Center, which is a $360 million, 463-bed teaching hospital providing residency programs in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology and radiology.

According to the Alliance, Wardell reversed a seven-year cumulative loss of $34 million to a $7 million surplus in two years during his tenure at the Hurley Medical Center.
He also established the Hurley Children's Hospital and constructed a $30 million emergency trauma center caring for 90,000 patients a year.

Wardell received a bachelor's degree in psychology from Union College in New York and a master's in business administration from Cornell University's Johnson Graduate School of Management.

He will assume the new post in early to mid-March, according to the Alliance.

"I'm excited to be joining [the Cambridge Health Alliance] at a pivotal time and honored to serve an institution with such a proud and strong safety net mission and extremely competent staff," Wardell said in the Alliance's press release. "I look forward to the challenges and furthering [the Cambridge Health Alliance's] national reputation for health care innovation and commitment to communities."

--brock.globe@gmail.com

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