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Dr. James Weinstein Named Chief Executive Officer of Dartmouth-Hitchcock

November 01, 2011
Lebanon, NH

Dr. James Weinstein

Dr. James N. Weinstein

The combined Boards of Trustees of Dartmouth-Hitchcock today announced the appointment of Dr. James Weinstein as Chief Executive Officer of Dartmouth-Hitchcock. This new position consolidates the leadership of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital (MHMH) and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic. Dr. Weinstein will also assume the presidency of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health.

The decision to combine the leadership of these institutions into one position follows a lengthy strategic review process by the Boards, and is designed to streamline the leadership structure and allow the organization to best meet the needs of the patients and communities it serves in today's rapidly evolving health care environment.

Dr. Weinstein will take on strategic and operational leadership of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock health system, which includes New Hampshire's academic medical center and a network of clinics across two states, serving a patient population of 1.4 million.

"The appointment of Jim Weinstein as a single leader for Dartmouth-Hitchcock is an important development for our organization," said Wayne Granquist, Chair of the combined boards of Dartmouth-Hitchcock. "His comprehensive understanding of health care practice, policy, finances, and operations is broad and deep. He is a visionary and proven leader who is recognized for his clinical and research expertise, as well as his commitment to a high-value, high-functioning health care system for our nation. Jim is the right person to lead the institution in these critical times and the Trustees are delighted that he has agreed to take on this new role."

"I am honored to lead Dartmouth-Hitchcock at such a crucial time for our organization and for the patients and families who turn to Dartmouth-Hitchcock for their care," said Weinstein.  "The health care system is undergoing fundamental change at an unprecedented pace. Our challenge is to ensure that we provide the highest-quality care, while continually improving that care, and the health of the people and communities we serve. Dartmouth-Hitchcock has deeply committed and talented employees and I look forward to achieving our vision together."

Nancy Formella, MSN, RN, who has been President of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital since 2006, has been asked by the Boards of Trustees to serve as Executive Advisor to the Boards. In this role, she will continue her focus on maintaining and strengthening the mission- and vision-driven culture at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, especially in the face of the demands of today's health care environment.

As announced early this year, Dr. Thomas Colacchio will step down from his current position as President of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and return to his practice as an oncological surgeon.  Dr. Colacchio had planned to return to full-time clinical practice at the end of his term in August 2012, but has been asked to do so on November 14 to ensure a smooth transition to this streamlined leadership structure.

Dr. Weinstein is an internationally renowned spine surgeon and has been President of Dartmouth-Hitchcock Clinic since 2010. He created and was Chairman of the Departments of Orthopaedics at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) from 2002 to 2010. He is a leader in the concept of "informed choice" for patients, and in 1999 established the first-in-the-nation Center for Shared Decision Making at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. The Spine Center he developed at Dartmouth-Hitchcock has become an international model for patient-centered, integrated care.

In 2007, he was named to succeed Dr. John Wennberg as Director of The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI), home of the Dartmouth Atlas. In 2009, with Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim, he developed The Dartmouth Center for Health Care Delivery Science. An elected Member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, he is also a co-founder of the High Value Healthcare Collaborative. This partnership among Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Intermountain Healthcare, Denver Health, Dartmouth-Hitchcock, TDI, and 10 recently admitted health systems, is working nationally to improve health care quality while lowering costs.

Dr. Weinstein assumes the role of CEO on November 1.

"In the coming days, weeks and months, I'm going to be reaching out to employees throughout Dartmouth-Hitchcock to hear from all of our staff and physicians, including those on the front lines of the change that's happening in health care," said Weinstein.  "I want to have an open dialogue about where we're going as an organization, how we will continue to meet our mission, and how we will adapt to meet the changing needs of our patients and communities."

Board Chair Granquist said Formella's expertise and experience will greatly aid the Boards. "As a Board of Trustees, we are extremely appreciative of the outstanding leadership that Ms. Formella has provided to D-H both as Senior Nurse Executive and as President of MHMH," said Granquist. "We are grateful that we will be able to continue to utilize her knowledge, experience and commitment to further Dartmouth-Hitchcock's mission and vision."

In her role as an Executive Advisor to the Board, Ms. Formella will focus on strategies that continue the cultural transformation underway at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, including creating a work environment that fosters excellence and innovation as well as deepening the organizational integrity that is a requirement in this fast-changing health care scene.  She will also continue representing Dartmouth-Hitchcock externally, in her role as Chair of the Board of the New Hampshire Hospital Association, and in specific regional partnership endeavors.

"We've been talking for some time about the challenges that face all of us in health care. But these challenges present us with a special opportunity," said Formella. "Dartmouth-Hitchcock's vision is to lead the transformation of health care in our region and to set the standard for the nation. At a time of unprecedented change in our industry, we have the opportunity to shape the future of health care."

Board Chair Granquist also reiterated the organization's appreciation for Dr. Colacchio's service.

"Dr. Colacchio led Dartmouth-Hitchcock during transformative years for the organization, and he has contributed so much to Dartmouth-Hitchcock's development and success over the years, both in clinical practice and in leadership roles," said Granquist.  "We wish him well as he returns to his true passion - directly caring for patients - and are grateful for his leadership and his contributions.

"Throughout its history, Dartmouth-Hitchcock has evolved to meet the changing needs of its patients," added Granquist. "We will continue to evolve, moving closer to our vision of the healthiest population possible and providing the best care for our patients, in the right place and at the right time."

Concurrent with his appointment as CEO, Dr. Weinstein will leave his position as Director of TDI. Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim and Weinstein will work together with Dartmouth Provost Carol Folt and a committee with representation from Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Dartmouth College, DMS, TDI, the Dartmouth Center for Healthcare Delivery Science, and Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business to ensure the strong future of TDI and to build on the growing partnerships between the College and Dartmouth-Hitchcock. In the interim, DMS Dean Chip Souba will be Acting Director of TDI.

About Dartmouth-Hitchcock: Dartmouth-Hitchcock is a national leader in evidence-based and patient-centered health care. The system includes hundreds of physicians, specialists, and other providers who work together at different locations to meet the health care needs of patients in northern New England. In addition to primary care services at local community practices, Dartmouth-Hitchcock patients have access to specialists in almost every area of medicine, as well as world-class research at Dartmouth Medical School and centers of excellence including The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice (TDI).

For more information contact Rick Adams at (603) 653-1910.

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