Career Pulse – May 2017

Mercy Names O’Brien Interim President
SPRINGFIELD — New England has named Mary Elizabeth (Beth) O’Brien president of Mercy Medical Center and its affiliates for an interim period while a national search is conducted. In this role, she will be responsible for the operational performance of Mercy Medical Center; provide leadership in the execution, management, financial performance and oversight of all hospital operations; and explore opportunities for growth through strategic development initiatives across the system.
With healthcare leadership experience that spans almost four decades, O’Brien has held a number of executive positions, including president and CEO, chief operating officer, executive vice president, and vice president of nursing in a variety of predominately Catholic health systems across the country. Most recently, she served as CEO and chief operating officer for PeaceHealth in Vancouver, Wash., a $2 billion, not-for-profit Catholic healthcare organization that operates 10 hospitals, medical clinics, and laboratories within Alaska, Oregon, and Washington.
O’Brien has also served as senior vice president of operations and group executive officer for Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a Colorado-based healthcare organization with 12 hospitals in four states. While at CHI, she developed a clinically integrated network in four markets, created the system’s first managed-care strategy and operations group, and served as national leader for integration for all CHI growth initiatives. Prior to CHI, she served as managing director for healthcare at Navigant Consulting in Chicago, as president and CEO for Baptist Health System in Birmingham, Ala., and as a senior vice president for CIGNA HealthCare in Hartford, Conn.
“Beth is a proven leader with the skills to realize the vision of our organization and achieve our financial goals through creative and collaborative partnerships. Her expertise and experience will allow her to work collaboratively with colleagues throughout Mercy to provide the best in health and healing for our communities and with the Trinity Health – New England executive leadership team to support the entire region,” said Christopher Dadlez, president and CEO of Trinity Health – New England.
O’Brien received her RN degree from Phoenix College School of Nursing in Arizona. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in health administration and an MBA from the University of Phoenix in Arizona. Her numerous professional and civic affiliations include serving on the boards of directors of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Central Alabama, Covenant House in Los Angeles, Seton Institute in San Francisco, and the Catholic Health Assoc. in St. Louis. In 2004, she was named to Modern Healthcare magazine’s list of the “100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare.”
Fein Joins HMC as VP of Human Resources
HOLYOKE — Spiros Hatiras, president and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center, announced the appointment of Beverly Fein as vice president of Human Resources (HR) at Holyoke Medical Center.
“Beverly brings with her 33 years of HR experience, many within hospital settings, that will be an asset to our organization,” said Hatiras. “Her leadership and knowledge in cultivating positive work environments will guide us to achieve our goal of being the Valley’s best place for care and the best place to work.”
Most recently, Fein served as vice president of Human Resources and Professional Development at Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield, where she helped transform the organization’s culture by creating a road map for increasing employee engagement through organizational improvement and specialized strategies. She also helped lead the integration of Noble Hospital with Baystate Health by aligning business and human-resources strategy.
Prior to that, she spent  11 years at Yale New Haven’s Bridgeport Hospital as director of Human Resources. She has also worked at American Skandia Inc., a financial-services company in Shelton, Conn., as director of Employee Relations, and at Perot Systems Corp., an international information-technology company in Stamford, Conn., as director of Human Resources.
Fein plans to focus initially on the ‘onboarding’ of candidates to enhance recruitment and retention. Onboarding involves providing growth and development opportunities to employees from their first interview throughout their career, she explained.
“We want to attract individuals who want to work here and provide them with the tools and resources they need to be successful, and then to provide them with recognition and growth opportunities and the best experiences so that they will want to stay and continue to contribute. HMC believes that you never stop recruiting your employees.”
Wanting to combine her love of psychology with business, Fein earned her master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology from the University of New York/Baruch College and her bachelor’s degree in psychology from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Since 2007, she has served on the board of the Connecticut Healthcare Human Resources Assoc.
“I’m really excited to be part of this organization and to collaborate with my colleagues throughout the hospital,” said Fein. “I think human resources plays a strategic role in the organization and in fulfilling its mission and vision, and I’m really happy to be part of the executive team to help us meet our goals.”
Collins Named to Statewide Commission
SPRINGFIELD — Jessica Collins, executive director of Partners for a Healthier Community, has been appointed to Gov. Charlie Baker’s Special Commission on Behavioral Health Promotion and Upstream Prevention.
The commission is tasked with investigating “evidence-based practices, programs, and systems to prevent behavioral-health disorders and promote behavioral health across the Commonwealth. The Commission is comprised of an interdisciplinary group of leaders in behavioral health, prevention, public health, addiction, mental health, criminal justice, health policy, epidemiology, and environmental health.
The Commission is zeroing in on three overarching questions: what’s working in behavioral-health promotion and upstream prevention? How can we better fund what’s working? And what can we achieve if we fund what works? More information can be found at promoteprevent.com/mission.
Puffer’s Salon and Day Spa Welcomes Otis to Team
WESTFIELD — Puffer’s Salon and Day Spa recently welcomed Jill Otis, a licensed massage therapist who specializes in oncology massage. Otis completed her training in oncology massage therapy with Tracy Walton & Associates in Boston and now offers this specialized service to guests at any stage of their cancer journey.
Compassion and communication are the two crucial aspects of an oncology massage; when coupled with Otis’ expertise, guests are able to experience a significant level of rest and relaxation. Oncology massage has innumerable benefits physically, mentally, and emotionally for all guests, she said.
A consultation is required prior to all oncology-massage visits so Otis meet with the guest regarding their individual diagnosis. The consultation is the most crucial aspect of the massage, as it allows her to tailor the massage to meet the guest’s needs. For more information on oncology massage, contact the spa at (413) 568-9000 or pufferdayspa@gmail.com.
HMC Taps Alexander for Health-information Role
HOLYOKE — Spiros Hatiras, President and CEO of Holyoke Medical Center (HMC) and Valley Health Systems, announced the appointment of Regina Alexander as director of Health Information Management at Holyoke Medical Center.
An accomplished revenue-cycle and healthcare-operations leader, Alexander previously served as associate director of Health Information Management at Yale New Haven Health System in New Haven, Conn., as manager of Health Information at Rutland Regional Medical Center in Rutland, Vt., and most recently as senior product manager of Medicare Advantage for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Wellesley Hills.
“Now that I’ve settled into my role here as director, I can take the experience of working both in a large tertiary facility along with running an operation of a similar size to HMC [at Rutland] and apply lessons learned — successful and less-successful approaches — to come up with the approach that will work best for the resources we have and the scale that we are,” she said. “Knowing what’s possible equips me to think creatively and come up with the best solutions.”
Alexander is a board-certified fellow in healthcare management through the American College of Healthcare Executives, holds a master’s of business administration in healthcare from George Washington University, and a bachelor’s degree in health administration and long-term care from the University of Phoenix.
With an affinity for science from a young age, Alexander began her career as a laboratory technician in her native Baltimore. She then served as phlebotomy supervisor at George Washington University and as laboratory technician at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.
“Having a clinical background enables me to speak the language of patient care and continuity of care that is so valuable when working directly with physicians, even if what we’re talking about is revenue-related,” said Alexander, who is looking forward to managing her three areas of expertise: medical coding, HIM operations, and clinical documentation improvements. She also serves as the HIPAA privacy officer for HMC.