Sunday Star

Welsh, Wilson to head rural transforma­tion team


University of Maryland Shore Regional Health has named a new executive director of its Chestertow­n hospital.

According to a news release, Dennis Welsh has been named vice president of Rural Health Transforma­tion and executive director of UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertow­n. He joined the UM Shore Regional Health leadership team this month.

Supporting Welsh in leading rural health transforma­tion initiative­s for UM Shore Regional Health is Lara Wilson.

“Dennis Welsh and Lara Wilson are a fantastic team who will lead the developmen­t and implementa­tion of a new model of rural health care for the region,” said Ken Kozel, president and CEO, UM Shore Regional Health, in a statement.

Wilson has been named director of Rural Health Care Transforma­tion at UM Shore Medical Center at Chestertow­n. She will begin in her new role in May 2021.

Welsh brings two decades of senior leadership experience in rural health care settings, including strategic planning, operations management, organizati­onal transforma­tion, change management, technology implementa­tion, lean management, corporate compliance, data security/ privacy, grant/capital funding and healthcare consulting, the release states.

Welsh served three years as president and CEO of Down East Community Hospital, a full-service, independen­t rural hospital located in Machias, Maine.

During Welsh’s tenure, the hospital enjoyed significan­t growth in several areas,

including family practice and laboratory services, the release states. He also planned and led a multimilli­on-dollar upgrade of the Emergency Department and implemente­d effective, long-term strategic plans for the hospital.

Previously, Welsh spent 13 years at Eastern Maine Health Care Systems’ Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital, a full-service critical access hospital with off-site rural health clinics in Greenville, Maine, including nine years as executive vice president and chief operating officer.

Welsh’s educationa­l credential­s include a Master of Health Care Administra­tion from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelph­ia, Pa. and a bachelor’s degree from Point Park College in Pittsburgh, Pa. He is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives and holds multiple health care specialty certificat­ions.

Wilson also is a proven health leader, bringing experience in the nonprofit, hospital and community health industries to her role, the release states.

She comes to UM Shore Regional Health after serving six years as executive director of the Maryland Rural Health Associatio­n, based in Centrevill­e.

In that capacity, with the goal of improving the health of Maryland’s rural communitie­s, Wilson provided leadership and advocacy, program and strategic planning, financial management and personnel management, communicat­ions

and marketing and membership developmen­t and services, the release states.

Since 2017, Wilson also has served as an independen­t consultant for Merchant McIntyre in Washington, D.C., providing grant support to rural hospitals and health care organizati­ons across the country and strategizi­ng with top rural health care organizati­on leadership to brainstorm new ways to increase funding for the rural communitie­s.

Wilson’s prior experience includes two years as senior director, Grant Developmen­t, and administra­tor for Hospital Owned Physician Practices at Garrett Regional Medical Center in Oakland; three years as practice manager, Maryland Primary Care Physicians, based in Annapolis; and four years as project director for the Lombardi Comprehens­ive Cancer Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

Wilson holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Maryland, a master’s degree in health systems administra­tion from Georgetown University and multiple specialize­d certificat­ions, including Lean Six Sigma —Yellow Belt.

“Dennis brings two decades of experience leading critical access hospitals and has a real passion for rural health care. His expertise will be complement­ed by Lara’s skills in working with community partners to build the programs in the Aging & Wellness Center of Excellence and her in-depth knowledge of the Maryland health care landscape, our key community partners and our legislator­s. I am so grateful to have them joining our team,” Kozel said.

 ?? PHOTO BY DANIEL DIVILIO ?? Dennis Welsh has been named the executive director of University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertow­n. He also will serve as UM Shore Regional Health’s vice president of Rural Health Transforma­tion.
PHOTO BY DANIEL DIVILIO Dennis Welsh has been named the executive director of University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertow­n. He also will serve as UM Shore Regional Health’s vice president of Rural Health Transforma­tion.

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