MCH names new CEO
New hospital leader hails from New York
PETERBOROUGH — A New York state hospital administrator will take over as chief executive officer at Monadnock Community Hospital in February.
The hospital’s Board of Trustees has hired Cynthia McGuire, who is currently the chief operating officer at Adirondack Health, a $90-million revenue network based in Saranac Lake, N.Y., that has several facilities covering a broad rural area.
McGuire, 56, will replace Peter Gosline, who in April announced plans to retire.
“This is an exciting time for MCH,” Gosline said in the press release. “Cynthia comes to MCH with 25 years experience in health care, including numerous administrative leadership roles. She shares MCH’s commitment to quality and innovative management. I am confident she will advance our mission to improve the health and well-being of our community.”
In a phone interview Monday, McGuire said she was attracted to Monadnock Community Hospital by the range of services it provides.
“Many critical access hospitals are limited,” she said. “MCH isn’t. It has surgery and OB-GYN services. It has a strategy of focus on patient services. The trend now is to keep people out of hospitals, to treat them in the lowest cost setting. MCH is well-positioned to do that.”
She was also attracted by the high level of volunteer and philanthropic support at the Peterborough hospital.
McGuire, who became CEO at Adirondack Health in 2009, previously served as a vice president at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady, N.Y. and St. Clare’s Hospital, also in Schenectady. She received a Master of Science degree in health services administration from Sage Graduate School in Troy, N.Y., and is a fellow with the American College of Health Care Executives.
Adirondack Health operates medical centers in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, which have a total of 98 beds, and health centers in Tupper Lake and Keene, N.Y. The organization also runs two long-term adult care facilities, the Mercy Living Center in Tupper Lake and Uihlein Living Center in Lake Placid, as well as a dental service in Lake Placid. With more than 900 employees, Adirondack Health is the largest private employer in the Adirondack Park region of New York, an area heavily dependent on tourism.
McGuire said her areas of responsibility as chief operating officer included outpatient care, medical imaging, the medical centers’ pharmacy and rehabilitation programs. She said she’d been heavily involved in bringing a wound-care practice to the community, and has been working on a project to establish a wellness center in Lake Placid.
“Wellness and health are where hospitals have to focus,” she said. “Are there services out there that we’re not providing that we can add? We need to start looking at new models of care, where we can get paid on value, on having good results.”
One of the greatest challenges that rural hospitals face, according to McGuire, is coping with declining reimbursement levels from insurers and government programs.
“We are continually being bombarded by cuts. A year ago, $1.2 million for [Adirondack Health] programs was eliminated overnight,” McGuire said. “We have to scramble and constantly look to take expenses out of our operations. We don’t have the level of resources or volume of patients to get rapid return on investments. We operate at a loss at times, in order to provide access to care.”
McGuire expects to closely monitor the impact of the Affordable Care Act on patients. She said in New York state a number of companies are offering coverage under the new law and the enrollment process has been functioning well. But in New Hampshire, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield is the only company offering plans, and Anthem did not include MCH as one of the hospitals in its network. As a result, those choosing coverage under the Affordable Care Act would not have access to MCH doctors and services.
McGuire said she’d be following the process of a possible lawsuit over Anthem’s decision and expects to be involved in discussions of how Anthem could eventually expand coverage.
“We have to continue with advocacy to try to get this changed, because it does affect access for patients,” she said.
In the press release announcing the appointment, Bob Edwards, chair of the MCH Board of Trustees, said “Cynthia has a track record of success that demonstrates she is the right person to lead our hospital for the next chapter in our 90-year history, at a time when health care is undergoing unprecedented change. She is an innovative and proven leader who values collaboration and team building.”
McGuire has been involved in a number of community activities in the Adirondack region, serving on the boards of a local theater program and a homeward bound program for returning veteran and working on a local effort to develop additional workforce housing options.
McGuire and her husband, Harry, who is retired after a career working at General Electric in Schenectady, will be house hunting soon and she expects to spend some time in the Peterborough area prior to her official start date of Feb. 24.
“We think this will be a wonderful place to live,” she said. “Everyone we’ve met has been very friendly and welcoming.”