Board of Trustees

Cambridge Health Alliance is governed by a Board of Trustees appointed by the City Manager of Cambridge, MA. Members volunteer their time and expertise to further the mission, vision, and values of Cambridge Health Alliance.

Joshua PosnerChair

Joshua Posner

Joshua Posner has developed affordable housing over 25 years in a wide variety of settings in New England and other parts of the United States. Mr. Posner founded Rising Tide Development LLC in 2001 to focus on the creation of new small-scale, mixed-income residential communities in Massachusetts. Prior to Rising Tide Development, Mr. Posner played a number of senior roles over 12 years at The Community Builders, a leading regional and national nonprofit developer of affordable housing. He has specialized in the construction and rehabilitation of community-based housing, the preservation of affordable housing nearing the end of its regulatory period, and the redevelopment of large-scale dilapidated public housing projects in various locations around the country. In 1998, Mr. Posner served as President of Cornerstone Housing, a private development firm focused on public housing revitalization, and from 1999 through 2000, he served as Vice President of Development for Trinity Financial, Inc. in Boston.

Mr. Posner has been engaged in a variety of community activities, including serving as Board President and Director of The Guidance Center, the largest mental health and family support social service organization in Cambridge and Somerville, Board President and Overseer of Shady Hill School in Cambridge, and in various roles for the Democratic Party.

Gerald McCueVice-ChairExecutive Director for Administration and Finance for the Chelsea Public Schools System

Gerald McCue

Gerald McCue is the Executive Director for Administration and Finance for the Chelsea, MA, Public Schools system. In addition to the almost 20 he has served in this position, he has also served as the Director of Financial Affairs of the Commonwealth's Executive Office of Transportation and Construction, and as the City Treasurer and Collector of Taxes for the City of Somerville, and as the City Auditor for the City of Somerville.

Mr. McCue received his Bachelor's Degree in Public Administration from Bentley University and his Master's Degree in Administrative Studies, with a concentration in Organizational Policy, from Boston University.

Mr. McCue resides in Somerville.

Dennis BenzanSenior Associate, Altman and Altman, LLP, Co-Owner, La Fabrica Central

Dennis Benzan

Dennis Benzan was born and raised in Cambridge and the son of immigrants from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. He was elected to the Cambridge City Council in 2013, as the first Latino ever elected to the Cambridge City Council. On Inauguration Day, Dennis was unanimously elected as Vice Mayor of the City of Cambridge and focused much of his work on Affordable Housing, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) workforce training, and the Opioid drug crisis.

Dennis is a graduate of Howard University and Roger Williams University School of Law. Dennis is currently a senior associate at Altman and Altman, LLP and the co-owner of La Fabrica Central in Central Sq., a new Spanish Caribbean Fusion jazz restaurant in Central sq., Cambridge, MA.

Robert BuchananPrincipal at Health Management Associates

Robert Buchanan

Robert Buchanan is a Principal at Health Management Associates. He has worked with states, health plans, safety net hospitals, and community health centers on a myriad of projects. He has helped clients design provider incentives to support payment and delivery system reform and guided organizations as they develop integrated and accountable care models encompassing primary care, behavioral health, and long-term services and supports. Before joining HMA, Mr. Buchanan was program director for performance incentives at Partners Healthcare. In that role, he administered a portfolio of quality financial incentives across commercial and public payers. During his tenure with the Massachusetts Medicaid program, he managed key financial components of the Commonwealth’s 2006 health reform effort. Mr. Buchanan earned his MPP from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and lives in Somerville.

Marian Darlington-HopePrincipal at Global Learning Partners

Marian Darlington-Hope

Marian Darlington-Hope, a resident of Cambridge, MA, is a Principal at Global Learning Partners, a consulting firm which focuses on the transformative power of learning through dialogue. Ms. Darlington Hope draws upon her over 25 years of experience as a university professor and administrator to help create learning environments and design curriculums which meet her clients' unique needs. Her specific expertise is in teaching adult learners and addressing issues of equity and diversity. While at Lesley University, Ms. Darlington Hope's work led to the redesign of existing structures to make the institution a more inclusive space for non-traditional students.

In addition to her work in education, Ms. Darlington Hope is an active member of her community. She served on the Margaret Fuller House Board for over 25 years and was board president for seven years. Ms. Darlington Hope has also served as a commissioner or an advisory board member of various City of Cambridge commissions and committees, including human services, public health, and law enforcement. She also served for many years on the Hospital Board of CHA.

Louis DePasqualeCity Manager, City of Cambridge

Louis DePasquale

Louis DePasquale is the City Manager of the City of Cambridge. Prior to this role he was Deputy City Manager, responsible for the fiscal operations of the City and leadership for Budget, Personnel, Assessing, Purchasing, Treasury, Revenue and Information Technology. Mr. DePasquale has also served as the City's treasury analyst, budget analyst, and budget director. During his tenure, the City has enjoyed an excellent financial position and has received a triple AAA bond rating from the three major credit rating agencies. Mr. DePasquale is a member of the City's Capital Improvement Budget Committee, the Cambridge Kids' Council, the Metropolitan Mayor's Coalition Finance Committee, and the Community Preservation Act Committee (CPA). Mr. DePasquale is a life-long Cambridge resident and a graduate of Matignon High School, Boston State College, and received his Master's Degree in Public Administration from Northeastern University.

Jim HendersonPrincipal Consultant

Jim Henderson

Mr. Henderson is a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College where presidential historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, was one of his senior honors thesis advisers. Cornel West, Harvard and Princeton professor, was his classmate and someone with whom he had wonderful late-night debates about matters which now make Cornel a national treasure. Between college and law school, he was a Research Assistant at Harvard’s Kennedy Institute of Politics and a paralegal at WGBH. He’s a cum laude graduate of Boston College Law School. After law school, he moved to Connecticut where he was an in-house counsel to two Fortune 120 companies. He also was an Adjunct Professor in Business Law for seven years at Quinnipiac College School of Law.

Jim is an Everett resident and lives a few blocks away from CHA Everett Hospital. He served on the Everett Planning Board and the School Building Commission. He also applied his law skills as Human Resources Director for three Everett mayor’s, including current Mayor Carlo DeMaria. His HR office administered the City’s Health Insurance Benefits for City of Everett workers, teachers, firefighters, police officers and retirees.

He left the City of Everett HR to become Employee Engagement Manager for MassDOT and the MBTA, where improving operational processes and change management, customer service and diversity training were important aspects of his duties. Afterward, he became HR Director for the Massachusetts Department of Capital Assets Management & Maintenance. Jim is now principal in an Everett-based sole proprietorship which provides business law advice to select clients and non-legal consulting advice in general.

Madge KaplanDirector of Communications, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Madge Kaplan

Madge Kaplan is a resident of Cambridge, MA, who serves as the Director of Communications for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI). In this capacity, Ms. Kaplan is responsible for developing new and innovative means for IHI to communicate stories of health care policy change and policy implications emerging from the world of quality improvement in the United States and internationally.

Since 2009, Ms. Kaplan been the host and producer of WIHI, a free, 60-minute, online audio "talk show" from IHI, devoted to the cutting edge of quality improvement and patient safety. Prior to joining IHI, Ms. Kaplan spent 20 years as a broadcast journalist, editor, and bureau chief for public radio, most recently as a health correspondent for National Public Radio.

Ms. Kaplan possesses a Bachelor of Arts in Asian Studies from Brown University.

Mary Jane KornackiFounding Partner, Amicus

Mary Jane Kornacki

Mary Jane Kornacki is one of the founding partners of Amicus, a health care consulting company. Her special interests include leadership team dynamics and the professional satisfaction of women physicians in medical organizations. Her understanding of the principles of adult learning and behavior are reflected in the models and tools that are fundamental to Amicus' consulting work. She has collaborated on numerous publications on physician culture, physician morale, medical group dynamics, governance in physician organizations and service improvement in health care.

Ms. Kornacki holds a master of science in public health from the University of Massachusetts where she specialized in health education and health behavior. She resides in Cambridge, MA.

Katharine Kosinski, MDPhysician

Katharine Kosinski, MD

Katharine Kosinski, MD, is a Cambridge, MA, resident who worked at CHA for more than 25 years, most recently as Chief of Pathology. Under her leadership, the CHA laboratory grew from one location to a three-site laboratory with timely and high quality services, successfully passing 13 College of American Pathologist inspections with full accreditation. During her tenure, she also served on the Joint Hospital Board, the CHA Medical Executive Committee, Patient Care Improvement Committee, Medical Quality Assurance Board, Credentials Review Committee, and the Hospital Board Quality Committee.

William LaheyPartner, Anderson & Kreiger LLP

William Lahey

William (Bill) Lahey is a partner at Anderson & Kreiger LLP in Boston, MA, where he focuses on environmental, energy, and municipal law. He is recognized by Chambers USA and Massachusetts Super Lawyers as a leading environmental lawyer. Prior to joining Anderson & Kreiger in 2006, he was a partner at Palmer & Dodge where he was chair of its litigation department. Mr. Lahey's clients include energy utilities, universities and major airports across the country. His international work includes drafting environmental laws for the Royal Government of Bhutan and coordinating the litigation that successfully stopped offshore oil development in Belize on behalf of Oceana, Inc. Mr. Lahey's work for Oceana in Belize won the Excellence in Pro Bono Award from the Massachusetts Bar Association. He served as chairman of the founding board of Smith Leadership Academy Charter School in Dorchester and on the Board of the National Alliance for Mental Illness, Massachusetts. Mr. Lahey received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1982 and Bachelor of Science from the University of Wisconsin.

Claire LaporteHead of Intellectual Property at Ginkgo Bioworks, Inc.

Claire Laporte

Claire Laporte is Head of Intellectual Property at Ginkgo Bioworks. She provides strategic oversight of Ginkgo's patent portfolio, trade secrets, and other intellectual property while supporting Ginkgo's business objectives in connection with IP matters.

Before joining Ginkgo, Claire served the life science industry in private practice at Foley Hoag LLP. During her time at Foley Hoag, Claire handled many patent and trade secret cases relating to a broad range of life science technologies. She also leveraged her litigation experience to represent clients in mergers, acquisitions, licenses, collaborations, and other matters.

Representative litigation cases include a trial in which Claire obtained a verdict of willful infringement against a major medical device company and another in which Claire convinced a tribunal to invalidate two biotechnology patents in a case concerning genetically modified E. coli for production of lysine. Claire also handled appellate matters relating to intellectual property.

During her time at Foley Hoag, Claire maintained an extensive pro bono practice, focusing on civil rights and domestic violence cases. Most recently, Claire served as co-counsel for the plaintiffs in a case challenging President Trump's ban on military service by transgender people.

Claire serves on several non-profit boards, including Cambridge Health Alliance and the Handel & Haydn Society.

Susanne MartzSenior Vice President - GSK Vaccines

Susanne Martz

Susanne Martz is an executive with more than 25 years of experience in various organizations focused on health care-based technology and pharmaceutical solutions. She successfully led companies through major transformation initiatives and new technology projects and she has a proven track record of building high-performing leadership teams. Ms. Martz focused professionally on implementing and monitoring quality management systems and process. She is currently the Senior Vice President at GSK Vaccines, a global health care company devoted to the research, development and manufacture of innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. She obtained a PhD from Free University of Berlin and speaks three languages - English, German and French. Ms. Martz resides in Cambridge, MA.

Paula ParrisDeputy Director, JFYNetWorks

Paula Parris

Paula Paris joined JFYNetWorks in 1995 as the director of development, where she has contributed to the growth and diversification of the funding portfolio. She was named Deputy Director in 2003 and has since led the organization through outcomes measurement, social enterprise development, and other strategic initiatives. Paula has prior experience in commercial banking, fundraising in education and the arts, and public policy research in workforce development. She has been an adjunct faculty member of Southern New Hampshire University’s School of Community Economic Development. Ms. Paris earned a Master of Management degree from the Heller School of Management and Social Policy at Brandeis University, where she is a member of the Board of Overseers, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Hartford’s Hartt School. Ms. Paris also served on the Cambridge Health Alliance Board of Trustees from 2007‐2016.

Assaad Sayah, MD, FACEPChief Executive OfficerChief Medical Officer

Assaad Sayah, MD, FACEP

Assaad Sayah, MD, was named CHA's Chief Executive Officer in January 2020. Dr. Sayah, the health system's chief medical officer, served as the interim CEO since June 2019. He previously served as Chief Medical Officer since 2013 and was Chief of Emergency Medicine and Senior Vice President of Primary Care at CHA

Dr. Sayah's leadership has been a critical component of CHA's growth and success over the past decade. Before being named the chief medical officer, he served as the chief of emergency medicine and senior vice president of primary care. In the Emergency Department, Dr. Sayah led tremendous advancements at all three CHA hospitals, resulting in enhanced efficiency, quality, volume and patient satisfaction. He spearheaded primary care growth by more than 50 percent, expanding CHA's access in underserved communities and integrating primary care and behavioral health services and systems to address social determinants of health. He also plays a key role in CHA's commitment to the communities it serves, including his tenure as the co-chair of the Cambridge City Manager's Opioid Working Group established in 2018 to develop recommendations for strengthening the city's response to the opioid epidemic.

Additionally, Dr. Sayah served as chairman of CHA's Chiefs Council and president of the CHA Medical Staff, and he continues to serve on the faculty at Harvard Medical School. His research and publications focus on Emergency Department operation and emergency medical services, including design of the EMS system, continuous quality improvement, advanced directives, violence and weapons, disaster planning and pre-hospital thrombolytics.

Prior to joining CHA, Dr. Sayah held leadership roles at several area hospitals, including director of EMS for Brigham and Women's Hospital, associate chief for the Department of Emergency Medicine at St. Elizabeth's Medical Center and chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center. He received his medical doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Medical Center and completed his residency in emergency medicine at William Beaumont Hospital in Michigan.

Ellen SemonoffAssistant City Manager of Human Services for the City of Cambridge

Ellen Semonoff

Ellen Semonoff has served as the Assistant City Manager for Human Services for the City of Cambridge since 2004. Her responsibilities include leadership and day-to-day management of City’s Human Services Department, including child care and family support programs, community and youth programs, services for homeless residents, workforce development programs, adult basic education programs, recreation programs, fuel assistance and summer nutrition programs, services to and programs for seniors and disabled residents. The Department has over 600 full and part time employees and a budget of over 40 million dollars in city, state and federal funds. The Department plays a convening role in numerous community collaborations. Prior to assuming her position as Assistant City Manager, Ms. Semonoff held several other positions for the City of Cambridge. She spent several years in Washington D.C., serving as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Joseph A. Califano and as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Bryan SimmonsVice President, Communications, Arcus Foundation

Bryan Simmons

Bryan has more than 30 years of global experience in communications, brand management, and integrated marketing campaign development. He began his career at Strayton Advertising and Public Relations (later the Advanced Technology Division of Hill & Knowlton). Bryan held a number of executive positions in marketing and communications at Lotus Development Corporation and IBM Corp., including vice president, IBM Americas, vice president of Global Industry Communications, and vice president of Marketing, IBM Lotus Software. He has served on the boards of Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, ACLU Massachusetts, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts, and Primary Care Progress. Bryan earned a bachelor’s degree in European History from Harvard College in Cambridge, MA.

Alex White, MDChief, Pulmonary and Critical Care, Cambridge Health Alliance

Alex White, MD

Alex White, MD is the Chief of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep, and has been with CHA since 2015. In his short 2.5 years at CHA, he has focused his efforts on growing and strengthening the department and ensuring that his service provides excellent, timely, efficient specialty care for all patients, while meeting the consultative needs of other CHA colleagues.

Prior to joining CHA in August 2015, Dr. White was the Chief Quality Officer (CQO) at New England Sinai Hospital and, subsequently Chief Medical Officer (Vice President for Medical Affairs) at Steward Carney Hospital. In both of those positions, Dr. White was a member of the senior leadership, and worked closely and attended Steward board meetings.

Dr. White has received formal training in hospital quality at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and in leadership at the Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. White completed his medical training at Trinity College, University of Dublin and completed his fellowship in pulmonary and critical care medicine at New England Medical Center.

Emeritus Trustees

  • Thomas Bent
  • David Bor, MD
  • Eugene Brune
  • Jack Burke, MD
  • Nancy Busnach
  • Mary Cassesso
  • Melvin Chalfen, MD
  • Audrey Cunningham
  • Elaine DeRosa
  • Francis H. Duehay
  • Ruth Faris
  • John Francis
  • Renae Gray
  • Mary Ann Hart, RN
  • William Hart
  • George Keverian
  • Lucian Leape, MD
  • Isaac Machado
  • Steve Manos
  • Jane Metzger
  • Pearl Morrison
  • Paula Paris
  • Maxwell Solet
  • Jonathan Stearns
  • Debbie Klein Walker
  • Ronald Weintraub, MD
  • Cathy Wirth