May 31, 2018 | last updated May 31, 2018 10:41 am

Boston hospital exec to be next UMass Memorial Medical Center president

Courtesy | UMass Memorial Medical Center
Michael Gustafson

The president of Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital in Boston has been named to lead UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester where he will begin duties on Sept. 1, UMass announced Thursday.

Michael Gustafson will replace Patrick Muldoon, who stepped down in January after 15 years with the Worcester-based UMass Memorial Health Care system and after more than four years as the UMass Memorial Medical Center president.

As the new president, Gustafson will oversee the medical center's Memorial, University and Hahnemann campuses, which have a combined 779 patient beds, 6,700 employees and more than 37,000 admissions.

Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital in Boston has 162 beds and 1,600 employees. The hospital is part of Partners HealthCare, the state's largest hospital system, and is affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

Gustafson spent the last three years as president at the Brigham, and before that was the hospital's chief operating officer for four years. He founded the Brigham's Center for Clinical Excellence and was its director from 2001 to 2011.

"I am both honored and humbled to have the opportunity to lead UMass Memorial Medical Center in its next chapter," Gustafson said in a statement. "I look forward to sharing my passions for quality, the patient experience, continuous improvement, and clinical innovation to support the incredible work that UMass Memorial providers and staff do each and every day."

Gustafson received his doctorate from West Virginia University and completed his general surgery residency at the Brigham. He was one of the first surgeons to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School, according to UMass. He is also an assistant professor in the department of surgery at Harvard Medical School.

At UMass, Gustafson will take over at a time when the larger UMass Memorial Health Care system, the largest in Central Massachusetts, has undergone budget challenges forcing closures of some patient services.

Just this week, UMass announced it plans to close an inpatient pediatrics unit and a cardiac rehabilitation unit in Leominster and an urgent care center in Fitchburg. No dates have been given for the closures, which appear to still require state approval. UMass has said it will open a pediatric observation unit at the UMass HealthAlliance-Clinton Hospital campus in Leominster, and shift cardiac services to Clinton, Leominster and Lancaster.

Last month, UMass said it will close Plumley Village Health Services on Belmont Street and shift those services elsewhere. Earlier this year, UMass announced plans to end endoscopy services at Clinton Hospital, and last year, it closed psychiatric beds at its University Campus but is planning a 120-bed psychiatric hospital costing $18 million to $20 million to open in early 2019.

UMass Memorial Health Care President and CEO Eric Dickson said in a statement Gustafson was chosen from a competitive and diverse applicant pool.

"Throughout his career Michael has demonstrated an ability to build a culture of quality, safety, transparency and efficiency," Dickson said. "His deep experience in change management is closely aligned with the Medical Center's strategic goals."

Jeff Smith, who had been filling in as interim UMass Memorial Medical Center president, will return to his duties as chief operations officer.

Muldoon was named UMass Memorial Medical Center president in 2013 and turned around the hospital's finances. Roughly $180 million in campus improvements were undertaken during his tenure. The hospital also completed a $650-million electronic medical records system upgrade late last year.

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