After a nationwide search, the Board of Directors of the Care New England Health System today named Dennis D. Keefe president and chief executive officer, effective August 1, 2011.
Keefe, of Norwood, MA, succeeds John J. Hynes, Esq., who has led Care New England since its formation in 1996 and who announced he will retire at the end of 2011. To facilitate the leadership transition, Hynes will act as an advisor until his official retirement date in December.
In selecting Keefe, the Board search committee, led by Katherine McKenzie, worked for a year with the nationally-known executive search firm Witt Kieffer.
“We are extremely grateful to Kathy McKenzie and the search committee for their diligence in screening applicants to find the most suitable fit for our unique needs at Care New England,” said Robert E. DeBlois, chairman of the Care New England Board of Directors. “Dennis Keefe is ideal for the CEO’s position. He brings a breadth of experience, strong leadership skills, intimate knowledge of the health care market, and perhaps most importantly, the vision that will guide our system through a difficult and competitive health care environment.”
Keefe comes to Care New England from the Cambridge Health Alliance (CHA), the only public health care system in Massachusetts, where he has served in a variety of capacities since 2000, including its chief executive officer since 2002. The nationally-recognized health care system consists of The Cambridge Hospital, Somerville Hospital, and Whidden Memorial Hospital, more than 20 primary care practices, the Cambridge Public Health Department, the Alliance Foundation for Community Health, the Cambridge Health Alliance Physician Organization, and Network Health, a state-wide Medicaid Managed Health plan. The system is academically affiliated with Harvard Medical School, Tufts University School of Medicine, Harvard Dental School, and the Harvard School of Public Health. Prior to 2000, he worked as an administrator for Morton Hospital and Medical Center, Cambridge Hospital and Marlborough Hospital, all in Massachusetts.
“Dennis’ experience is outstanding,” DeBlois commented. “He implemented a new physician leadership model at CHA to accelerate the system’s transformation to an Accountable Care Organization built around a Patient-Centered Medical Home model of care; implemented a global payment model across the system; expanded the quality initiatives; and leveraged health information technology investments to transform health care delivery, maximize care coordination, and improve overall quality, patient safety, and patient experience of care.”
Keefe earned a bachelor of science degree in health sciences summa cum laude from Northeastern University, and a master’s of business administration in business/healthcare administration, also from Northeastern. He is a clinical instructor at Tufts University School of Medicine, and a lecturer at Harvard School of Public Health, Tufts School of Medicine, Boston University School of Public Health and Northeastern University. He is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at Northeastern’s College of Professional Studies.
With numerous professional affiliations, Keefe has served as the Board Chair of the Massachusetts Hospital Association, past Executive Committee Member of the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems, and Board Chair of the National Public Health and Hospital Institute. He was honored as the MA Healthcare Executive of the Year by the American College of Healthcare Executives in 2009, with the Lifetime Achievement Award from MA Health Care for All in 2008, and Alumnus of the Year by Northeastern University in 2005.
He will succeed Hynes, 65, a Narragansett resident, who has been president and CEO of Care New England since 1996.
“It is bittersweet to be retiring,” Hynes said. “This is a robust system of health care providers and services and I have enjoyed being a part of its growth and success. In reflection, the greatest achievement of my career was developing solid relationships among the Care New England members that will continue to help the system succeed well into the future.
“I am confident that these relationships among the superb community of trustees, doctors, nurses, employees and volunteers will contribute to the success of the new CEO.”
When he was named to head the new health care system, Hynes was president and CEO of Kent Hospital. He is past trustee and chair of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, trustee of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, vice chair of the Rhode Island Quality Institute, and trustee of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of the Rhode Island and American Bar associations and, in 1990, received the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Rotary International Award.
“The success of Care New England’s creation and early years can be attributed to the dedication and visionary approach of John Hynes,” DeBlois noted. “In a marketplace that is often contentious, he was able to keep the system on course and develop a broad range of the highest quality health care for the people of southern New England, while always looking to the future and promoting research and service expansion that has proven vital.”