Baystate Health CEO Keroack to retire next year

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

Staff Writer

Published: 08-03-2023 10:00 AM

SPRINGFIELD — The leader of the region’s largest health care organization announced this week that he will step down next year after a decade at the helm.

Baystate Health CEO Mark Keroack, a specialist in infectious diseases, will retire in July 2024 from a long career in both medicine and health administration.

“It has been and continues to be the privilege of a lifetime to serve as CEO of Baystate Health and partner with the amazing people who provide such outstanding care to our communities,” Keroack said in a statement.

Keroack joined Baystate Health in 2011 as chief physician executive and president of Baystate Medical Practices, and three years later was appointed CEO. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Keroack emerged as a leader in western Massachusetts in promoting public health information.

As the pandemic abated, Keroack also highlighted the behavioral health risks brought on by the pandemic and other social issues.

“The burden of behavioral health problems is inextricably intertwined with social issues including housing insecurity, food insecurity, legal challenges and substance use disorder,” he told the Gazette last year. “We now better appreciate that money invested in behavioral health help control overall health costs by improving adherence to care plans and healthy lifestyles.”

U.S. Rep. Richard Neal, whose congressional district overlaps with much of Baystate’s facilities, released a statement following the announcement praising Keroack for his leadership during the pandemic.

“He is a true advocate for the Greater Springfield community, and he is a true believer in facts, always following the science to achieve the best possible outcome for his patients,” Neal said in a statement.

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Baystate Health’s board of trustees has established a search committee and identified a firm to assist in conducting a nationwide search for a successor to Keroack. It is expected to take several months to a year to identify a candidate and finalize the next CEO. During this period, Mark will continue as CEO.

As the largest health care organization in western Massachusetts, Baystate Health, established in 1883, serves over 800,000 people throughout western New England. Its facilities and services include Baystate Medical Center, a teaching hospital and the region’s only level 1 trauma center; Baystate Children’s Hospital, a full-service children’s hospital; three community hospitals; a network of more than 80 medical practices; Health New England, a health insurance provider; home care and hospice services; and comprehensive regional laboratory and diagnostic services.

Alexander MacDougall can be reached at amacdougall@gazettenet.com.

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