November 13, 2017

UMass Memorial president wanted to retire at right time

Patrick Muldoon, outgoing UMass Memorial Medical Center president

UMass Memorial Medical Center President Patrick Muldoon is retiring from his position at the end of January, the hospital announced in November.

Muldoon began his time with the organization as president of Leominster's UMass Memorial-HealthAlliance Hospital – now UMass Memorial HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital – nearly 15 years ago.

Jeff Smith, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the hospital since 2015, will serve as interim president for the duration of a nationwide search.

The right time to go

The January date aligns with Muldoon's plated retirement date, the hospital said.

Muldoon said his retirement has been in the works with UMass Memorial Health Care President and CEO Eric Dickson and the board of trustees for a while.

The announcement was always planned for Nov. 1, once the hospital got past the launch and implementation of its new Epic system, a $650-million electronic medical records platform.

Righting the ship

Muldoon's time at the hospital began in August 2013 when the healthcare facility was in dire financial straits due to years of running a deficit, which grew to $50 million, Muldoon said.

"Rating agencies had really dropped our bond rating to junk bond status," he said "It was spiraling in the wrong direction."

To remedy the hospital's financials, Muldoon and hospital executives executed a $110-million turnaround plan including revenue enhancement, expense reduction, and in 2014, the hospital ended the year in the positive after a $60-million gain, Muldoon said.

Two years ago, the hospital was given an A- credit rating from rating agency Fitch Ratings and BBB by Standard and Poor's.

"It was a pretty miraculous turnaround," Muldoon said.

$180M in new facilities

Since then, the hospital has been off to the races, including Vision 2020 – a strategic plan started in 2014 that seeks to improve access, quality and patient experience.

The hospital and UMass Medical School campus has been teeming with construction over Muldoon's tenure, including a net add of about 20 beds and a $180-million investment in healthcare facilities.

Still, Muldoon deflected credit away from himself and instead credited the hospital's staff, including Dickson.

Dickson, though, heaped the praise on Muldoon.

"He has set an outstanding example for me and all those who have worked with him closely," Dickson said in a press release. "His leadership, wisdom, patience, warmth, and legacy will continue to positively shape our organization for many years to come."

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Jeff Smith's title as CEO of UMass Memorial Medical Center. Smith's title is chief operating officer.


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