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Cambridge Health Alliance Selects New Chief Executive Officer
Posted Date: 1/24/2012

Cambridge, MA...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.

Patrick WardellThroughout 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."

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 National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (NAPH), Michigan Hospital Association, and Whaley Children's Center.

"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.

"Allison deserves a great deal of thanks for her immense leadership and stewardship during this transition period," said Cassesso. "She has advanced the organization in the six months that she has been Acting CEO, bringing to closure with the support of her colleagues many issues, including the Massachusetts Medicaid Waiver, the sale of Network Health to Tufts Health Plan, and the successful completion of the Joint Commission survey."

It is expected Mr. Wardell will join CHA in early to mid-March.


Cambridge Health Alliance is an academic community health system committed to providing high quality care in Cambridge, Somerville and Boston’s metro-north communities. CHA has expertise in primary care, specialty care and mental health/substance use services, as well as caring for diverse and complex populations. It includes three hospital campuses, a network of primary care and specialty practices and the Cambridge Public Health Dept. CHA patients have seamless access to advanced care through the system’s affiliation with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. CHA is a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate and is also affiliated with Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard School of Dental Medicine and Tufts University School of Medicine.