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2024 Power 100: Edward Kelly

A man in a suit stands in front of a hospital Photo | Courtesy of Milford Regional Edward Kelly, president & CEO at Milford Regional Medical Center
Edward Kelly Title President & CEO Company Milford Regional Medical Center Employees 2,511 Residence Mansfield Colleges Babson College, Bentley University Read all the Power 100 profiles here
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Edward Kelly has deep roots at Milford Regional Medical Center, so he understood as much as anyone the difficult decision for one of the last remaining independent community hospitals in Central Massachusetts to become part of UMass Memorial Health by this summer, pending state regulatory approval.

While Kelly understood the position of board members and the larger community to keep Milford Regional independent, he recognized it was time to link up with its longtime clinical partner as operating losses mounted. A corporate affiliation with UMass Memorial of Worcester was signed in January, just months after Milford Regional celebrated its 120th anniversary.

For years, Kelly and other hospital stakeholders held firm on a commitment to keep the 148-bed acute care hospital independent. Kelly joined the executive team in 1993 and became CEO in 2016. Even then, independent community hospitals were a dying breed, but Milford, serving 20 towns, had the community support to grow services and make major capital upgrades under Kelly’s leadership. COVID-era cost pressures and resulting labor market challenges finally backed Milford Regional into a corner. With operating revenue of $386 million in fiscal 2023, the hospital reported a $15.3-million operating loss.

While losses mounted, Milford Regional had choices about which healthcare system to join. With large systems facing the same cost pressures as small hospitals, Kelly in January said he had discussions with multiple affiliates, eventually deciding on UMass Memorial. He’s hopeful Milford Regional will be able to grow key service areas after joining the UMass Memorial system.

“The time is right. We have the right partner, and the right deal,” Kelly said. 

Read all the Power 100 profiles here.

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