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Partners' Thier to step down in 2003
Mass General's Mongan will be new president and CEO

BOSTON — February 19, 2002 — Partners HealthCare President and CEO Samuel O. Thier, MD, announced today that he will step down from his position effective January 1, 2003. The Partners Board of Directors also announced that they have named Massachusetts General Hospital President James J. Mongan, MD, Thier's successor. Thier has been an officer of Partners since 1994 and has held his current position since 1996. Mongan has been president of the MGH since 1996.

"This has been an extraordinary opportunity to work with some of the most gifted and committed clinicians and scientists in the world," Thier said. "I believe that what we have worked together to create is greater than the sum of its parts and represents a lasting benefit to our patients. I am equally convinced that under Jim Mongan's leadership, Partners will continue to build on our record of accomplishment in patient care, teaching and research."

Thanking the Partners Board and Thier for their support, Mongan said, "Sam Thier has done a superb job building and shaping a new and critically important institution - Partners HealthCare. He has built a very solid management team to work with the thousands of talented and dedicated physicians, nurses and other personnel who make Partners what it is - people and institutions caring for people in the greater Boston area, while advancing and passing on medical knowledge through research and teaching. I'm honored to have been asked to carry on his work."

Partners Board Chair Jack Connors, Jr. said that Thier's vision and strong management have guided Partners to success. "When Partners was formed, we were treading new ground. With Sam Thier's leadership, we have built an organization that has not only succeeded, but continues to contribute to our missions of education, research and better patient care," Connors said. "The entire Partners board owes a debt of gratitude to Sam and also to Jim Mongan, who we believe is uniquely suited to lead Partners in the years ahead."

In a related announcement today, Partners said that Connors has agreed to stay on as chairman of its Board of Trustees through 2004.

Senator Edward M. Kennedy also praised Thier and Mongan, saying, "Partners has once again chosen a national leader for its helm. Both Sam Thier and Jim Mongan are among the most respected voices in health care in this country. Their leadership of these valuable health care institutions is good news for everyone who depends on the care they provide."

Partners was formed at a time when all health care providers, and particularly academic medical centers, were entering a period of sustained and severe economic pressures. Under Thier's leadership, Partners' finances have been strong and stable, while historic commitments to patient care, teaching, research and community have been maintained and expanded.

  • Since 1994, Partners admissions have grown 15 percent. Investments have been made to stabilize and improve needed community health services provided by hospitals like Union in Lynn, Faulkner in Jamaica Plain, and Newton-Wellesley. Meanwhile, new collaborations between MGH and BWH and the Partners community hospitals and physicians have brought new services and better care to area residents. In addition, Partners has provided an increased level of emergency, psychiatric and other important health services which are otherwise threatened by economic pressures.
  • Research funding has grown 85 percent, to $578 million last year. Partners has made significant investments in cutting-edge areas of medical research like genomics and minimally invasive therapies and has fostered new collaborations among BWH and MGH scientists. McLean Hospital is the largest private psychiatric hospital recipient of National Institutes of Health funding in the country, and its research program has grown more than 80 percent since 1994.
  • Partners has maintained its commitment to training new physicians and has combined residencies and fellowships to provide trainees with exposure to a broader range of patients and teachers.
  • Partners has expanded its community health center commitments, and Partners health centers and health centers affiliated with Partners now serve 200,000 patients per year. Partners provides care for 65,000 Medicaid and 20,000 uninsured and underinsured patients each year.
  • Partners has reduced its cost per patient 18 percent in constant dollars.

Dr. Mongan is credited with similarly strong leadership of Mass General. During his tenure there, inpatient admissions have grown 20 percent, and the hospital's finances have been stable, with positive operating results of $43.7 million in FY01 on revenue of $1.3 billion. He has overseen planning for a new MGH ambulatory care building, the first new capacity at the hospital in 20 years, which is designed to meet rapidly growing demand for cancer and other outpatient services. Meanwhile, new services have come on line, including the Northeast Proton Therapy Center, one of only two hospital-based facilities in the world providing this state-of-the-art cancer treatment. Also under Mongan's leadership, new partnerships were forged with health centers in the North End, East Boston and Back Bay.

MGH has also continued its strong commitment to its over-$300-million annual medical research program and to its role as the oldest and largest teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School.

Prior to his tenure at MGH, Mongan served for 15 years as executive director of Truman Medical Center, the multi-institutional public hospital system for Kansas City and the surrounding area. In addition to stabilizing the center's finances so it could continue to provide critically needed services for Kansas City's low-income residents, Mongan was also key to passage of new federal assistance for all hospitals that treat a large number of uninsured patients. For his last eight years in Kansas City, Mongan also held the position of dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine.

Starting in 1970, Mongan held various senior level health policy positions for 12 years in the US Congress and the Carter Administration. In Congress, his role as professional staff member for the US Senate Finance Committee included responsibility for Medicare, Medicaid and National Health Insurance Proposals. In the Carter Administration, he served as assistant surgeon general and associate director for Health and Human Resources on the White House Domestic Policy Staff and as deputy assistant secretary for Health Policy and special assistant to the secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

Mongan was raised in San Francisco and received his BA and MD degrees from Stanford University. He and his wife, Jean, live in Chestnut Hill and have two children. The MGH Board of Trustees has indicated that it will launch a search process for Mongan's successor.

Media Contact: Peggy Slasman, MGH Public Affairs
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