HCN News & Notes

Mercy Names Mary Elizabeth 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.”

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