Lifespan nabs Mass General Brigham executive for CEO

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Lifespan, a Providence, Rhode Island-based nonprofit, has named John Fernandez as its next president and CEO.

Fernandez is president of the specialty hospital Mass Eye and Ear and of Mass General Brigham Integrated Care, both part of the Boston-based Mass General Brigham health system. He succeeds Dr. Timothy Babineau, who stepped down in May after a decade leading Lifespan. Arthur Sampson, who led Lifespan’s The Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital, has been interim president and CEO.

Fernandez, who will start his new role in early 2023, has led several expansion efforts for ambulatory services at Mass General, including the opening of a multi-specialty care and surgical center in Salem, New Hampshire. At Mass Eye and Ear, he implemented a plan increasing surgical volume by more than 70% and quadrupled research funding over his 16-year tenure. He also led a $252 million capital campaign. 

Prior to his current positions, Fernandez was vice president at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for surgical services, imaging, cancer and other service lines. 

Lifespan, which partners with Brown University’s medical school, operates five hospitals, along with behavioral healthcare provider Gateway Healthcare, Lifespan Physician Group and primary care practice Coastal Medical. Earlier this year, Lifespan and Care New England, also in Providence, scrapped merger plans after pushback from state and federal officials who argued the deal would lead to price increases. 

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