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Monadnock Community Hospital CEO plans to retire in 2014

Peter Gosline

(Staff photo by Dave Anderson)

Peter Gosline (Staff photo by Dave Anderson) Purchase photo reprints at Photo Finder »

PETERBOROUGH — After 15 years in charge of Monadnock Community Hospital, president and CEO Peter Gosline has announced he plans to step down from the job in April 2014.

“I’ve had a really good run,” Gosline said on Tuesday. “I feel a lot has been accomplished. Now it’s time to give someone else a chance at the helm.”

Under an agreement reached between Gosline and MCH’s Board of Trustees, Gosline will continue working at the hospital for a year. He will stay on as CEO until a new person is hired. If that happens during the next year, he will serve as a advisor during the rest of the 12 month period.

“I expect a search committee will be formed and the board will use a search advisor as a consultant,” Gosline said. “The process typically takes nine to 12 months. I’ll do everything in my power to support that process. It’s really important that we have continuity.”

Gosline, who is 62, said he expects to continue working, perhaps as a consultant focusing on strategic issues facing hospitals, rather than on day-to-day operations.

“I’ll be doing something,” he said. “I can’t imagine retiring. I can imagine reducing the hours.”

During Gosline’s tenure, hospital revenues tripled and the number of employees increased by 65 percent, to a current staffing level of more than 700 full- and part-time employees. The hospital opened the Bond Wellness Center, revamped its emergency room, now known as the Sarah Hogate Bacon Emergency Services Center, added operating room suites and expanded the hospital campus, including a new access road leading directly from Route 202 to the hospital campus.

“Peter Gosline has been one of the most successful CEOs in MCH’s 90 years of operation. He has managed the organization through challenging times, and helped us navigate impressive growth,” said Bob Edwards, the hospital’s board chair, in a press release about the transition. “The board is grateful for his contributions to the organization and his years of unselfish service as CEO.”

Gosline, who grew up in the Utica, N.Y., region, has a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University, a Master’s degree in community health from the University of Rochester, and an M.B.A. from Cornell University.

“I got a taste of New England when I was in school in Boston,” he said. “I loved it, and was eager to come back.”

He had worked for hospitals in the New York City area and did a bit of teaching and consulting prior to moving to Peterborough.

“This was my first CEO job,” he said. “I remember the interview process was very intense. I met with board members, the medical staff and employees. The people here really care about their hospital and its leadership. It’s those same people who have kept me here.”

Gosline said the hospital was in the red when he took the CEO job.

“We had to work to rediscover our focus,” he said. “We came up with a new mission statement — to provide excellence in medical service — that served us well for a decade. I believe with the help of the community, we created stability and a vision for the hospital.”

In addition to building the Bond Wellness Center, the hospital expanded the number of specialists on the staff and opened satellite offices.

“We’ve done a lot of recruiting,” Gosline said. “We have a really strong base of primary care doctors and we’ve added specialists in orthopedics, general surgery and gastroenterology. We opened practices in New Ipswich and Rindge. In Rindge, we started with one practitioner. We now have two and an additional part-timer. We’ve maintained a practice in Antrim that has been very important for that community.”

One major change occurred in 2004, when Monadnock Community Hospital became a critical access hospital. The critical access program supports small rural hospitals of 25 beds or less where patients stay for an average of four days or less by making them eligible for enhanced Medicare reimbursement, which Gosline said improved the hospital’s bottom line without reducing services.

One of the strengths of the Peterborough hospital, Gosline said, is the high level of financial support it receives from the community. The hospital has benefitted from more than $20 million in philanthropic giving during Gosline’s tenure. He attributed some of that to the efforts of Laura Gingras, the hospital’s vice president of philanthropy and community relations, and said donors have been especially generous in the last 10 years, despite the challenging national economy.

“We spend a significant amount of our time working on philanthropy,” Gosline said. “People want to do something significant and have an impact, we encourage them to find ways to do that right here in their local community.”

Gosline said MCH still faces a number of challenges, especially as the health care environment changes under the Affordable Care Act.

“There’s a need for major changes in the way we do business,” he said. “We’re moving away from the fee-for-service world to a more value-based environment. We’ve been focused on helping those who are sick. In the future, we’ll need to go out in the community, because the incentives will be to keep people healthy. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but we may need to realign inside the hospital. That will take a lot of effort and focus.”

That changing focus, Gosline said, is reflected in the hospital’s recently adopted new mission statement: “We are committed to improving the health and well-being of our community.”

Gosline said the shift away from fee-for-service compensation means hospitals will have to work much more closely with other institutions, such as nursing homes and assisted care facilities, to ensure that treatment is coordinated and cost-effective.

“This is where I think I can help as a consultant,” he said. “I came up through the day-to-day operations, which is very important. I’d rather be more focussed on planning, strategy and interrelationships. I may be able to reposition myself to help organizations with this new world they are facing.”

Gosline lives in Peterborough with his wife, Connie. They have four adult children — “No grandchildren yet,” he said — and they plan to remain in Peterborough, although he hopes to have more time to travel.

Gosline expects he’ll miss the day-to-day contact with all the people who work at the hospital when he eventually steps down.

“People have been coming up to me all day and saying so many nice things,” he said. “It’s very touching. I remind them I still have year to go.”

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