BMC Names Kate Walsh as New President & CEO

Kate Walsh, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, will become the next president and CEO of Boston Medical Center, the hospital announced today.


Walsh, who has been at Brigham and Women’s Hospital for the past five years, was approved by a unanimous vote of BMC’s Board of Trustees on Jan. 5, after a nationwide search that attracted numerous candidates from all four corners of the United States.

Walsh will begin on March 1, and will succeed Elaine Ullian, who announced last July that she would retire after her contract expires on Jan. 29. Ullian has served as president and CEO of BMC since its founding in 1996.

Ronald Bartlett, Boston Medical Center’s Chief Financial Officer, will be acting CEO from Jan. 30 until Walsh begins at BMC.

“It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to lead this extraordinary academic medical center,” said Walsh. “The reputation of BMC’s mission combined with its delivery of outstanding clinical care has created a foundation of excellence that our city’s residents depend upon in their daily lives. I look forward to working with the entire hospital community, Boston University School of Medicine faculty and our partners in the Boston HealthNet Centers as we strive to bring the best care to people who live in our neighborhoods and beyond.”

“Kate Walsh was the best candidate to emerge from an extremely strong field of candidates from every region of the country,” said Ted English, chairman of both BMC’s Board of Trustees and the selection committee.

“There was tremendous interest in this position and the candidates we considered were all very impressive and capable. Our selection of Kate Walsh is a testament to her and to the reputation of BMC. In this rapidly changing health care environment, we are excited to have someone with the knowledge and experience that Kate provides as our next leader,” English said.

English and Walsh praised Ullian for building an institution that has become a national model for delivering outstanding care while serving poor communities. “Any future leader of BMC will be standing on Elaine’s shoulders,” said Walsh.

“Kate Walsh is a terrific choice to lead BMC. I am impressed with her leadership and commitment to providing exceptional health care to our patients. Kate fully understands the important role BMC plays in our community,” said Ullian.

Prior to her position at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Walsh was chief operating officer for Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. She began her career as a summer intern at Brookside Health Center in Jamaica Plain. After finishing graduate school, she worked as a shift supervisor in the emergency department at Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center in the Bronx. From there Walsh moved to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, Saint Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital Center and the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation. She relocated to Boston and joined Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) as an assistant general director in medical services and was promoted to vice president of medical services and primary care and then to senior vice president of medical services and the MGH Cancer Center. Walsh received her bachelor’s of arts degree and a master’s degree in public health from Yale University.

She also is a member of the Board of Visitors for Northeastern University’s School of Business and is on the Board of Trustees at Emmanuel College.

Walsh, a native of Brookline, is married and has two children.

The search committee began its work in August. In addition to English, it included Ron Bartlett, BMC’s Chief Financial Officer; James Becker, MD, BMC Surgeon-in-Chief; Robert Brown, PhD, President of Boston University; David Coleman, MD, BMC Physician-in-Chief; Susan Donahue, BMC trustee; William Halpin, Executive Director, South Boston Community Health Center; Alyce Lee, BMC trustee; David Passafaro, BMC trustee; and Richard Slifka, BMC trustee. The committee was aided by a team from Korn/Ferry International, the largest executive search firm in the world.

About Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 626-licensed bed, academic medical center affiliated with Boston University School of Medicine. Committed to providing high-quality health care to all, the hospital offers a full spectrum of pediatric and adult care services including primary and family medicine and advanced specialty care with an emphasis on community-based care. Boston Medical Center offers specialized care for complex health problems and is a leading research institution. Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine are partners in the Boston HealthNet—15 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit

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