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David Torchiana, MD, selected to lead Massachusetts General Physicians Organization

BOSTON - November 6, 2002 - The Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization (MGPO) has named David F. Torchiana, MD, to the position of CEO and chairman, effective Jan. 1, 2003. Torchiana, who currently serves as chief of Cardiac Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital, will succeed Peter L. Slavin, MD, who is assuming the role of MGH president at the beginning of the year.

"Dr. Torchiana is a superb leader and a highly skilled physician, who has provided thoughtful and strong direction to Cardiac Surgery for the past five years," Slavin says. "The MGPO will benefit greatly from his leadership, wisdom and insights. I look forward to working closely with Torch in the years ahead."

In his new role at the helm of the MGPO, Torchiana will lead the largest multispecialty group practice in New England. Formed in 1994, the MGPO comprises approximately 2,700 employees, including more than 1,200 physicians. The MGPO also represents nearly 1,900 physicians for managed care contracting. Last year, the organization reported revenues of $322 million.

Torchiana, who is an associate professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, says he looks forward to the opportunity to advocate for, support and work on behalf of physicians on the larger stage of the MGPO. "I have seen and experienced the kind of capable and skilled management that has made Partners HealthCare, the MGH and the MGPO successful in the past few years," Torchiana says. "These organizations are thriving. My hope is that I will be able to play a part in keeping the Physicians Organization moving along this positive track, even in this challenging modern day environment."

The MGH practices a special brand of medicine, Torchiana says. "Every decision made at this institution is driven by the overriding goal of doing whatever is in the best interest of each individual patient," he says. "I hold that value in high esteem, and I am proud to be associated with a place that is so committed to doing the absolute right thing for the patients it serves. I see my role at the MGPO as someone who can encourage and help physicians continue practicing this special kind of medicine."

Torchiana says he is committed to ensuring that the MGPO provides a wide range of beneficial services for physicians - including managed care contracting, finance and administration, marketing, business development, information systems, human resources, customer service and communication. He also wants to find innovative and effective ways to measure and improve the quality of care. In addition, he will be focusing attention on two particularly difficult issues: providing fair and equitable compensation for doctors, and helping physicians achieve a satisfactory balance between professional worklife and family demands.

Andrew Warshaw, MD, MGH surgeon-in-chief, who chaired the search for the new MGPO CEO, says the goal of the search committee was to find a leader who understood the challenges of clinical practice, the intricacies of contracting and the complexities of practice management. "We wanted someone with a solid vision for the future," he says. "We wanted someone who would preserve, protect and grow our academic mission. We wanted a person who the entire community - in all its wonderful diversity - could fall in behind. We have that kind of a leader in Torch."

Warshaw adds that Torchiana has earned the confidence, respect and admiration of physicians and managers throughout the MGPO and MGH. "Torch is perceptive, smart and selfless. And he is tough when he needs to be, but not in a way that ruffles or embarrasses people. In short, he is the kind of leader who works collaboratively and effectively with others, but he says what needs to be said, and he does what needs to be done."

A native of Illinois, Torchiana has spent his entire professional career at the MGH, arriving at the hospital in 1981 as a resident in surgery. After completing his residency in cardiothoracic surgery at the MGH, he spent a year as chief resident. He joined the MGH's Department of Surgery in 1989. Torchiana is the author or co-author of more than 100 publications and abstracts. He received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School in 1981, and his undergraduate degree Phi Beta Kappa at Yale University. After college, he spent a year as a Churchill Scholar studying at Cambridge University.

Media Contact: Peggy Slasman, MGH Public Affairs
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