Caritas Christi appoints new Chief Operating Officer

BOSTON — Caritas Christi Health Care, the second largest health care system in New England, has appointed Richard L. Cunningham as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He is an experienced health care executive who has served in various positions, including hospital CEO and senior executive in a multi-hospital system. The announcement was made Sept. 3.

"Dick brings a 25 year career as a seasoned hospital executive to our institutions. He will promote Caritas Christi's initiatives to enhance service excellence, improve quality outcomes and achieve a higher degree of clinical collaboration throughout our System," said Robert M. Haddad, a physician and president and CEO of Caritas Christi.

"His charge is to help us better align our strategic objectives with our operational performance. I am most excited and grateful to him for his willingness to join our team," Haddad continued.

Before he joined Caritas Christi, Cunningham was senior vice president at Quorum Health Resources, where he was responsible for the coordination and oversight of more than 50 full service management agreements in hospitals ranging in size from $12 million to $450 million in annual revenues. While at Quorum, he also served as group vice president, with oversight of nine community hospitals, and he received the Outstanding CEO Award in the New England District by HCA Management Company.

Cunningham received his Bachelors in Science degree from Boston State College; and his Masters in Business Administration and Masters in Public Health Degrees from Columbia University in New York City.

In a separate announcement the same day, Caritas Christi also made public the appointment of Sister Catherine O’Connor, CSB to the position of Senior Vice President of Mission and Organizational Development. This newly created position is responsible for the coordination of system-wide programs that highlight the mission of Caritas Christi in its health care ministry.

Prior to joining Caritas Christi, Sister Catherine was Vice President of Mission Integration and Organizational Development at Caritas St. Elizabeth Medical Center. Sister Catherine also served as Director of Spiritual Care and Clinical Pastoral Education and Patient Advocacy at Caritas St. Elizabeth. During her tenure as director, Caritas Christi became the first health care system in the United States to have its CPE accredited as a system program by the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops.

A member of the international order, the Congregation of St. Brigid, Sister Catherine has led seminars around the world for laity, clergy and religious groups on topics that include communications skills; professional ethics; conflict management; leadership development; spirituality and healing; and grief and loss.

Caritas Christi Health Care is a comprehensive, integrated Catholic health care delivery network providing community-based medicine and tertiary care in eastern Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

The hub of the system’s six hospitals is Caritas St. Elizabeth Medical Center of Boston, a tertiary academic teaching hospital affiliated with Tufts School of Medicine. Acute care hospitals in the System include Caritas Carney Hospital in Dorchester, Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, Caritas Holy Family Hospital and Medical Center in Methuen, Caritas Norwood Hospital, St. Anne Hospital in Fall River and the Caritas Clinic, a 400-physician group practice.

Non-acute facilities include Caritas Home Care, Caritas Good Samaritan Hospice, Laboure College, Por Cristo, St. Joseph Nursing Care Center and Caritas St. Mary Women and Children’s Center.