The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Board of Trustees today named current Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals (MCCH), Steve Walsh, as the organization’s next president and CEO, effective November 1.
Walsh replaces Lynn Nicholas, FACHE, who has served as MHA president and CEO since September 2007 and who earlier this year announced her retirement.
“We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Steve’s combined depth of experience and enthusiasm to lead MHA,” said Kate Walsh, president and CEO of Boston Medical Center and MHA Board chair. “His vision for the future of our commonwealth’s hospitals, health systems and other affiliated caregivers will undoubtedly be a great asset given that healthcare at the national level is in flux and the pace of reform continues in Massachusetts.”
The MHA Board selected Walsh following a six-month search led by Witt/Kieffer, a nationally recognized executive search firm.
“MHA considered a wide array of exceptionally qualified candidates and Steve’s combination of healthcare knowledge, vision for where healthcare is heading, and leadership to achieve that vision clearly stood out,” said Keith A. Hovan, president & CEO of Southcoast Health, who served as chair of the 10-member search committee. “We look forward to working with Steve as he assumes leadership of the association at this vital time for all hospitals and health systems across the commonwealth.”
“I am profoundly honored to have been selected by the MHA Board of Trustees,” Walsh said. “Lynn Nicholas’ leadership as president and CEO of MHA has had a significantly positive impact on our hospitals, health systems and most importantly, patients, and I am excited to continue that good work.
“Massachusetts hospitals and health systems are not about brick and mortar facilities, but rather the people inside of those facilities – patients and caregivers. Our state’s hospitals and health systems are critical to both the health and well-being of our residents and to a healthy and thriving economy. At this time of unprecedented change and uncertainty in healthcare, my goal is to ensure our hospitals and health systems remain well positioned to deliver on their mission of providing exceptional care and service to patients.”
Walsh, a member of the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE), has led the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals since 2014. During his tenure as executive director, Walsh worked with executives from 25 Massachusetts healthcare institutions representing 35 facilities to promote and drive innovative change in healthcare delivery, policy, and regulation. He came to MCCH after serving six terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives as the representative of the 11th Essex District, serving portions of Lynn and Nahant. He was appointed House Chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing in 2011.
Walsh has spent his career advocating for affordable and accessible healthcare for families and small businesses. As chairman of the Health Care Financing Committee, he oversaw the drafting and passage of the commonwealth’s 2012 landmark healthcare payment and delivery reform law, Chapter 224. That legislation encouraged use of alternative payment methodologies and investment in community health, while promoting patient empowerment and primary care. He was also a member of the legislative conference committee that drafted Chapter 288 of the Acts of 2010, the commonwealth's small business healthcare legislation.
Walsh is a native of Lynn, Mass., and is a graduate of Wesleyan University, the New England School of Law, and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is an active member of the Greater Lynn community, and serves on the boards of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, LynnArts, Inc., St. Jean’s Credit Union, and the Agganis Foundation.