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Joan Sullivan to succeed Christine Shirtcliff as BMLH president

February 10, 2010

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        Christine Shirtcliff                                 Joan Sullivan



The Republican, Thursday, February 04, 2010

By Nancy H. Gonter


Longtime Baystate Mary Lane Hospital President Christine S. Shirtcliff on Wednesday announced plans to step down and another Baystate Health Systems employee will take the job March 1.


Shirtcliff will pursue a career involving mentoring staff and future leaders at Baystate Health as a senior consultant in professional and organizational development, according to a press release from Baystate Health.


Taking her place is Joan C. Sullivan, of Somers, Conn., who will become president of Baystate Mary Lane and Baystate Health Eastern Region. Sullivan has been vice president of clinical informatics and re-engineering for Baystate since 2002.


"Joan Sullivan is a loyal, seasoned leader who has been a vice president at Baystate Health for 14 years and has accomplished much in her career thus far, with a strong emphasis on building relationships," said Mark R. Tolosky, president and chief executive officer of Baystate Health.


Sullivan joined Baystate in 1995 as vice president for ambulatory practices.


"Sullivan's endeavors have been extremely successful, placing Baystate among the top 1 percent of hospitals for its use of advanced medical record systems," Tolosky said.


Before working at Baystate, Sullivan was vice president for ambulatory services at the Medical Center of Central Massachusetts in Worcester. She began her career in health care as a nurse at the University of Massachusetts Memorial Hospital.


"I look forward to working with our employees, physicians, patients and friends as we plan for our second century of care for the region and ensure that we are a strong and viable health care resource for the community in the future," Sullivan said in a statement. She declined a request for an interview Wednesday.


Shirtcliff and Sullivan will work together for the rest of the month to ensure a smooth transition. Shirtcliff, a Belchertown resident, has led Baystate Mary Lane for the last 15 years and has worked at the hospital for 32 years.


"I recognize that individuals in my role rarely have the opportunity to make a career change that meets their ideal job criteria. I am extremely grateful for the support that I have had to make this happen," she said.


Tolosky praised Shirtcliff's work.  "I commend Chris for her many years of devotion to doing what's best for Baystate Mary Lane Hospital, her employees and the community and I thank her for being a loyal partner to me and her leadership colleagues," Tolosky said.


Besides being president of Mary Lane Hospital, Sullivan will oversee all medical clinics and doctors offices affiliated with Baystate in Ware, Belchertown, Palmer, Monson, Hardwick, Warren, North Brookfield, West Brookfield and Brookfield.


Mary Lane Hospital became affiliated with Baystate Health in 1991.