A Message from Care New England President and CEO Dr. Jim Fanale

A Conversation with Care New England Cardiology Chief Dr. Chester Hedgepeth III

on How Brigham Health – Kent Hospital Partnership Works


Mary Burke, 83
West Warwick
After a day that started like any other, running errands and cleaning her house, 83 year-old Mary Burke began to feel dizzy. She really knew something was wrong when she started experiencing pain in her chest. Thankfully her grandson had stopped over to visit and was able to call for an ambulance to bring her to the emergency department at Kent Hospital.
A cardiac catheterization at Kent revealed Mary had five blockages and needed bypass surgery. Dr. Chester Hedgepeth III, chief of cardiology at Kent and a member of the cardiovascular division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, explained to Mary that she had two choices about where to have her surgery done – locally in Rhode Island or at Brigham and Women’s in Boston. Opting for continuity of care and the ability to have Dr. Hedgepeth remain as part of her care team, Mary made the decision to go to Boston for the surgery, saying this was “one of the best choices she’s ever made.”
After a successful surgery and restful recovery period in Boston, Mary received her post-surgical follow up care back at Kent.
“From start to finish, everyone I interacted with at Kent and Brigham and Women’s went above and beyond in every aspect of my care,” said Mary. “They were some of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and to be able to receive the same great care in Rhode Island that I received in Boston was wonderful. It was a big relief for my family and I that we didn’t have to continue to travel far as part of my recovery.”
Thomas Narkievich, 72
West Warwick
After having a colonoscopy and being diagnosed by his gastroenterologist with a colon polyp, Thomas Narkievich, 72, was referred to colorectal surgery team at Kent Hospital, affiliated with Brigham Health. Dr. Melissa Murphy, M.D., M.P.H., associate chief of surgery at Kent Hospital, worked closely with Thomas and his family before successfully removing the polyp, later found to be cancerous.
It has been nearly two years since the operation and Thomas feels great, remains cancer free, and continues to have the follow-up for his routine cancer surveillance done at Kent. Throughout his hospital stay and his follow-up care, Thomas continues to be impressed by the attentive and caring staff at Kent, and credits them with helping him reach a full recovery.
“Dr. Murphy was fantastic; everyone in the OR at Kent was absolutely fantastic,” said Thomas. “I want to thank everyone at the hospital. I’m feeling very well and I’m going to start up my bike rides again.”


Elizabeth Nabel, MD
President, Brigham Health

Betsy Nabel has served as president of Harvard-affiliated Brigham Health–an academic health care system which includes Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, and the Brigham and Women’s Physician Organization–since 2010.  A cardiologist and distinguished biomedical researcher, Nabel is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School with a long record of advocacy for health and broadening access to care. As director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute from 2005-2009, Nabel leveraged the $3 billion research portfolio to establish pioneering scientific programs in genomics, stem cells, and translational research.

Shelly Anderson, MPM
Senior Vice President for Brigham Health Strategy, Clinical Operations and Imaging Services

Shelly Anderson, MPM, is the senior vice president of Strategy, Clinical Operations and Imaging Services at Brigham Health. Prior to this role, Anderson served as vice president of Strategy Implementation for BH. Anderson has more than 20 years of experience in health care administration, strategy implementation and operations improvement. In this role, she is responsible for collaborating with other BH leaders to design and execute strategic initiatives, leading the Active Asset Management program and working to innovate best practices and facilitate organizational accountability, among other responsibilities.

Executive Vice President and COO, Brigham Health

Ron Walls is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Brigham Health and the Neskey Family Professor of Emergency Medicine at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Walls is responsible for BH’s day-to-day operations and, along with BH President Betsy Nabel, MD, guides both short-and long-term strategy to position the system for success well into the future. This includes overseeing system performance, supporting and advancing clinical operations, overseeing financial planning to fund operations and key investments, and creating an exceptional patient experience. Dr. Walls twice served as chair of academic departments of emergency medicine, most recently as chair of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Department of Emergency Medicine for more than two decades before assuming his current role in 2015.

James Fanale, MD
President and CEO, Care New England

James Fanale, MD, currently serves as president and chief executive officer for Care New England. Prior to arriving at Care New England, Dr. Fanale served as senior vice president for system development and chief operating officer at Jordan Hospital, where he was responsible for the development of one of the nation’s first Medicare Shared Savings Programs – Accountable Care Organizations (ACO). Dr. Fanale earned his medical degree from Chicago Medical School and completed his residency at UMass Memorial Medical Center. He is an associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Melinda Upton, MS
Vice President, Network Development

Upton leads Brigham Health’s network development programs by strengthening current partnerships and developing new relationships with health care systems, hospitals and medical groups. She is also active in Brigham Health’s strategies for regional and ambulatory development.

Upton has more than 20 years of experience in health care administration, including leadership roles at community hospitals and academic medical centers. Throughout her career, she has focused enhancing access to quality health care through the development of clinical programs and collaborations with other health care organizations and providers.

Allen Smith, MD, MS
President of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital Physicians Organization

Smith is president of the Brigham and Women’s Physicians Organization, a faculty practice plan for more than 1670 physicians.  He has been in this position since 2007 and his chief responsibilities include leadership of overall BWPO strategy and core functions as well as oversight of BWHC network development.

In this role he has helped develop and foster strong network relationships with community hospitals and physicians and has served as a principal in establishing an integrated cancer center in Weymouth, MA.  He is also involved in clinical strategic planning at BWHC and Partners HealthCare, physician leadership development, community health, contracting strategy, population health management and health care policy.

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