State Representative Steven Walsh, a Lynn Democrat with 11 years of experience as a legislator, announced last week that he has accepted a position as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals (MCCH) beginning in March.
Rep. Walsh has told the Journal that his last day in the State House will be February 28.
Walsh was first elected as the State Representative for the 11th Essex District, representing West Lynn and Nahant in 2002 and has worked as the co-Chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing since 2011.
Representative Walsh has been widely credited with helping to craft legislation designed to contain health care costs, by limiting how much doctors and can spend on health care. He has been an advocate for health care issues, such as prescription drug regulations, drug programs for seniors, youth drug abuse and prevention programs and health care financing throughout his career as a legislator. He also has been a supporter of strengthening Massachusetts’ community hospitals, which have struggled to remain competitive as larger teaching hospitals and major hospital mergers have threatened the viability of the community hospital network in Massachusetts.
The MCCH is a non-profit corporation that advocates on behalf of 17 community hospitals across the Commonwealth and which serve approximately 50-percent of the acute care patients in Massachusetts.
“I am honored to have been selected by the board to lead such an outstanding organization,” said Walsh. “Community hospitals are the backbone of our local healthcare system, providing high-quality and easily accessible care. A strong community hospital system means a healthier Commonwealth, not only for our patients but for our state and local economy. I look forward to working with our member hospitals on new and exciting possibilities.”
“Steve’s extensive legislative and health care experience will be a tremendous asset to MCCH,” said Kevin Smith, President of MCCH and President and CEO of Winchester Hospital. “Steve recognizes the importance of our hospitals as stewards of community health and essential stabilizing factors in the economic viability of the cities and towns where they are located. He is the ideal leader of for our organization.”
Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo heralded Rep. Walsh’s efforts as a legislator and leader in the State House.
“Chairman Walsh has been a tireless advocate for the people of the Eleventh Essex District,” said Speaker DeLeo. “I appreciate the contribution he made to the House of Representatives, particularly as a national leader on the issue of health care cost containment. I wish him all the best in his new role at the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals.”