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  • Wentworth-Douglass CEO Greg Walker to retire after 24 years of service

    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital Board of Trustees chair Carol Bailey announced today that president & CEO, Gregory Walker, FACHE, will retire from his position on October 31, 2020. Bailey praised Walker for his hard work and commitment to the organization, which started nearly 24 years ago. 

    “Dover and the surrounding communities have benefited from Greg’s visionary leadership over two and half decades. During his tenure, Wentworth-Douglass Hospital has grown inpatient and outpatient services, expanded where those services are provided, and helped forge the Hospital becoming a member of the Massachusetts General Hospital family,” said Bailey.  “The Wentworth-Douglass Foundation has flourished under Greg’s leadership thanks to his passion for philanthropy and the impact it makes on patient care, our community, and staff. All of these improvements ensure that our patients continue to receive the very best care close to home. We are forever indebted to Greg for his countless contributions and he will forever be a part of the Wentworth-Douglass family.”

    Walker became president of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in January 1997, after a nationwide search to replace outgoing CEO Ralph Gabarro. During his presidency, he led many successful and long-lasting strategic initiatives to position the hospital as the Seacoast’s leading medical center.  These included many hospital expansion projects – most notably, the 4-story Garrison Wing addition to the hospital building in Dover in 2013, the 3-building campus expansion at the Pease Tradeport in Portsmouth (2016-2020), along with countless clinical program additions and the transformation of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital into an integrated health care system by combining hospital services and community-based physician practices under a single corporate umbrella.  His astute leadership led to an early collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Telestroke services (2006), which later expanded to several other joint clinical programs throughout the years.  Ultimately the success of these joint clinical programs led to Wentworth-Douglass becoming a fully integrated and official member of the Massachusetts General Hospital family in 2017.  Throughout his time at Wentworth-Douglass he has been an inspirational leader who has created an unsurpassed culture of patient-centered care of the highest quality; and set Wentworth-Douglass apart as an employer of choice throughout the region.   

    After reflecting on his nearly 24 years of service to the hospital, Walker remarked, “I am proud of the accomplishments that our organization has seen.  Our success is a result of the team of skilled clinicians and employees we have who have contributed so much to this organization’s success over the years.  I am confident that the future path will continue to showcase many successes.  This organization is in a great place and I am honored to have been a part of it.”

    Bailey also announced that Jeffrey Hughes, MPH, FACHE, chief operating officer of Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, will serve as interim president for the hospital beginning in October.  Hughes, a key member of the executive leadership team, began his tenure at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital in 2012, and has held the roles of chief strategy officer and vice president of operations before being promoted to chief operating officer in January of this year.  In announcing Hughes’ appointment to interim president, Bailey commented that his experience, leadership, and collaborative nature will be critical in helping Wentworth-Douglass continue to navigate these unprecedented times.

    The Wentworth-Douglass Board of Trustees will continue to evaluate the long-term leadership needs of the organization as the proposed affiliation with Exeter Hospital continues to be evaluated by state and federal agencies.

    Wentworth-Douglass Hospital (wdhospital.org) is a not-for-profit charitable health care organization located in Dover, New Hampshire with a 110-year history of compassionate care and innovation. Serving the Seacoast communities since 1906, it is a family of 3,000 employees including 500+ registered nurses and a medical staff of over 480 physicians and advanced practitioners dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of residents and visitors to the Seacoast area of New Hampshire and Southern Maine. Wentworth-Douglass Hospital was awarded Magnet® designation in 2016, joined the Massachusetts General Hospital family in 2017 and includes a 178-bed hospital, several urgent care and walk-in facilities, multiple testing centers, Wentworth Health Partners (primary and specialty provider practices), The Works Family Health and Fitness Center and the Wentworth-Douglass Foundation.