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Ullian to Retire from Boston Medical Center in 2010
Successfully Led BMC for 16 years
(Boston) -- Elaine Ullian, who led Boston Medical Center (BMC) to become one of the nation's leading teaching safety-net hospitals, announced that she will retire as president and CEO when her contract expires in January 2010.
Ullian was recruited by Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino to run the hospital when it was created by the merger of Boston City Hospital and Boston University Medical Center Hospital in 1996 -- the nation's first merger of a public hospital and a private academic medical center. Today, the hospital has more than 6,000 employees, 1,400 physicians and an annual operating budget of roughly $2.5 billion.
Among the hospital's achievements under Ullian were:
- Building the Moakley Building to enhance cancer care for all patients.
- Strengthening the community health center system to expand services and access to care in Boston's neighborhoods.
- Creating and building BMC's HealthNet Plan into the largest managed care organization for low income residents in Massachusetts.
- Creating programs and services to eliminate racial and ethnic disparities including an extensive interpreter services program with more than 30 languages available on site; a therapeutic food pantry that is the only one of its kind in the country; and, the Child Witness to Violence Project that advocates for and counsels young children who are the hidden victims as bystanders to community and domestic violence.
- Growing patient volume by 32 percent and outpatient volume by 52 percent in a decade.
Ullian announced her plans to retire in a personal letter today to the hospital staff.
"The years have flown by, and together, we built an important, effective and extraordinary medical center that is a national model of an academic medical center committed to the most vulnerable populations," she wrote. "Your commitment to our mission -- coupled with your extraordinary competence and loving kindness -- has inspired me each day for sixteen years," she added.
Ted English, chair of the BMC Board of Trustees who will lead the search for a new president, said finding a replacement for Ullian would be a challenge. "Elaine and this hospital are synonymous. She lived and breathed its mission. The staff and patients became her extended family," English said. "Elaine has attracted and put in place an extraordinarily talented team of clinicians, care givers and administrators who are committed to exceptional care without exception, which gives us great confidence as we begin the challenging process of finding her successor."
Under Ullian, BMC received the prestigious American Hospital Association Living the Vision Award in 2006 and BMC's Medical-Legal Partnership for Children received the prestigious American Hospital Association NOVA Award for its work to improve the health status of the community in 2007.
Ullian is the recipient of numerous honors and awards including: Dorchester Boys and Girls Club New England Women's Leadership Award, 2009; Distinguished Executive Award, UMass Boston, 2009; Community Leader award, Visiting Nurses Association of Boston, 2007; Public Health Leader award, Roxbury Comprehensive Health Center, 2007; Lifetime Achievement Award, Health Care for All, 2006; Leadership in Public Health, Mattapan Community Health Center, 2004; Pinnacle Award Lifetime Achievement, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce., 2002; and John D. Thompson Distinguished Visiting Professor, Yale University, 2002.
Other awards given to Ullian include: YWCA Women's Achievement Award; Boston University School of Medicine Award of Achievement in Administration; Distinguished Service Award from Tufts University; Mass Health Council Award for Outstanding Leadership in Public Health; Abigail Adams Award from the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus; and, the Maimonides Award for outstanding leadership in healthcare from the Anti-Defamation League.
Ullian is a member of the Boston Public Health Commission and is the former Chair of the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals. She has served on Transition Teams for former Governors Paul Cellucci and William Weld and Mayor Thomas M. Menino. She also serves as a director for the following public companies: Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Thermo Fisher Scientific, and Hologic.
Ullian is an Associate Professor of Boston University School of Public Health and a member of the faculty at the Harvard University School of Public Health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Tufts University and a Masters Degree from the University of Michigan.