The owners of Carney Hospital did not have to go too far to fill a vacancy in its president’s office.
On Tuesday, Steward Health Care System accounced that Walter J. Ramos, presently the President & CEO of DotHouse Health, will assume the presidency at the Carney campus starting in July.
“Walter Ramos understands Dorchester and the surrounding communities and will bring new energy and vision to this role at Carney Hospital,” said Mark Girard, MD, President of Steward Hospital Group in a statement sent to the Reporter.
Ramos took the leadership reins at DotHouse Health in 2012 and has overseen a re-branding effort at the Fields Corner health center that culminated in a naming ceremony two weeks ago. Ramos previously served in senior leadership roles at the Massachusetts Hospital Association and Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan.
Netting Ramos is seen as a boost for Carney, a 159-bed hospital which has been trying to strengthen its relationships with Dorchester network of community health centers, some of which are affiliated with other downtown hospitals.
“The close collaboration between community health centers and hospitals is important for Dorchester and the surrounding communities,” said Jim Hunt, President and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and Carney Hospital Board member. “Walter understands and appreciates the important link between hospital and health center primary care after successfully leading DotHouse for several years."
Ramos will replace Andy Davis, who has served as Carney’s president since 2012. Davis and Steward announced his departure in January. Ramos will be the fifth person to lead the hospital under the ownership of Steward, which took control of Carney in 2010. Ramos is the second high-profile community health center leader to be recruited for the job. Bill Walczak, the founder and longtime directror of Codman Square Health Center, was hired to run Carney. Walczak left after only one year.
In recent months, Carney Hospital has seen an uptick in its patient base— and a flow of new physicians— since Steward closed Quincy Medical Center last year. While Steward has opened a new clinic in Quincy to handle emergency demand, many patients are being referred to the Carney for other appointments. The hospital also just opened a new, 26-room Family Medicine department.
“Carney Hospital is in the midst of an exciting resurgence,” said Dr. Girard. “In recent years, Carney has consistently earned national awards for quality patient care, grown the number of primary care and specialist physicians, and significantly expanded available services and improved the facilities. We believe Walter Ramos will provide the leadership needed at this important time at the Carney.”
Ramos said he is excited to take on the new role.
“I understand and appreciate the diverse communities that Carney Hospital serves,” said Ramos.