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NVRH Names Shawn Tester as Next CEO

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital announced today that its Board of Trustees has appointed Shawn Tester as Chief Executive Officer effective November 26, 2018.

“After a twelve month national search, we determined that the very best candidate for the new CEO was right here in our own backyard,” said Steve Nichols, Chairperson of the NVRH CEO Search Committee and NVRH Trustee. “As a member of the Accountable Health Community, we have already worked with Shawn and know how committed he is to improving the health and well-being of our community. In addition, he brings a solid understanding of the Green Mountain Care Board and the workings of the Vermont Legislature to our organization.”

Tester has held executive leadership positions for the past 20 years with a focus on Patient-Centered Medical Home and Accountable Care Organizations, while navigating the evolving healthcare environment and its impact on those who call the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont home.  Currently he is CEO of Northern Counties Health Care (NCHC) in St. Johnsbury, a federally qualified community health center with five medical and three dental practices and a Home Health & Hospice division serving northeastern Vermont.  With a $24 million annual budget, Tester led the strategic direction of the organization in this position for the past two years. Prior to that he held the position of Director of Primary Care from 2014 to 2016.  Before joining NCHC, Tester was Chief of Operations & Information Services for nine years at Ammonoosuc Community Health Services in Littleton, NH, with five locations, 21 healthcare providers and a $9 million annual budget serving northern New Hampshire.

“I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity, and while my life’s mission is to help make the Northeast Kingdom a better place to live, I never imagined my career would bring me to the leadership of NVRH.” said Shawn Tester. “In this new role, I am committed to maintaining the hospital as a center of excellence while continuing our collective work as an accountable health community that is well integrated to care for our patients.  “

Current CEO of 33 years, Paul Bengtson, announced to the NVRH Board of Trustees in mid-2017 that he would be retiring at the end of 2018.  The Board formed a CEO Search Committee comprised of: Board members, Jane Arthur, Steve Nichols, Tom Robinson and NVRH staff: Betty Ann Gwatkin, Chief Human Resources Officer; Laura Rooker, VP of NVRH Physician Practices; Dr. Ryan Sexton, Medical Director of NVRH Emergency Department.  The Committee held open meetings with employees, medical staff, volunteers, board members, corporators and community leaders to determine what qualities matters most in the next CEO.  The healthcare executive recruitment firm of Phillips DiPisa was chosen to conduct the CEO search and of the 11 candidates they interviewed, six were recommended to NVRH.  When the final three candidates were chosen, employees were part of the decision making process that lead to the appointment of Shawn Tester.



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Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital
PO Box 905 1315 Hospital Drive
St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819
802 748-8141
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