SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

November 8, 2012

Hanover to resign as Northeast Health CEO

BY PAUL LEIGHTON STAFF WRITER
The Salem News

---- — BEVERLY — Northeast Health System CEO Kenneth Hanover will resign next week, six months after the organization combined with Lahey Clinic.

Hanover first announced his resignation Tuesday in an email to employees, saying he is stepping down to give Lahey CEO Howard Grant “the opportunity to create a more streamlined and integrated management structure.”

Grant was named president and CEO when the organizations combined on May 1. Hanover retained his position as president and CEO of Northeast Health System and was also named executive vice president and chief strategy officer of Lahey Health System.

In an interview yesterday, Hanover said his resignation was a decision that he and Grant “made together.”

“What’s been clear to both Dr. Grant and myself is that a lot of responsibilities that I was given as the chief strategy officer are really best taken by the chief executive officer of the organization, and Dr. Grant is very capable of doing that,” Hanover said.

“I’m stepping out of the way so he can run this organization in a manner that is consistent with that which his vision and his style demand.”

Hanover, 60, has been president and CEO of Northeast Health System, which includes Beverly Hospital, Addison Gilbert Hospital and Union Hospital, since October 2009. His resignation will take effect Nov. 15.

Denis Conroy, the former executive vice president and chief financial officer at Northeast Health, will serve as interim president of Northeast Health until a permanent successor is selected.

Hanover will stay on with Lahey Health System as executive vice president and chief strategy officer until Dec. 31.

Hanover said he has “no animosity, no regrets” about his resignation.

“I have a tremendous affection for the quality of the people that work in our organization and for the values they demonstrate every day in providing care for patients,” he said. “I think the community is very fortunate to have this organization as a critical safety-net hospital in the community.”

Hanover, a native of Framingham, spent eight years as CEO of Health Alliance, a chain of hospitals in Ohio, before coming to Northeast Health System. He succeeded Stephen Laverty, who resigned after doctors and nurses took votes of no confidence in him.

Hanover immediately began searching for a partner for Northeast Health, saying the organization needed to expand in order to survive in the changing health care environment.

Northeast considered offers from for-profit companies Steward Health Care and Vanguard Health and from nonprofits Lahey Clinic and Beth Israel Deaconess before deciding to affiliate with Burlington-based Lahey.

In a press release, Grant called Hanover a “respected colleague and great friend.” He credited Hanover with recognizing the opportunity for Northeast and Lahey to combine forces.

“Ken’s leadership and foresight were instrumental in the successful establishment of the Lahey Health System,” Grant said.

Hanover said he will take time off to figure out what he wants to do next.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.