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Hospital’s Annual Meeting, a Time of Remembrance

Outgoing Milford Regional Medical Center CEO Frank Saba, left, was honored at the hospital's annual meeting by a variety of tributes including those offered by State Rep. John Fernandes, D. Milford, center, and State Senator Ryan Fattman, R. Webster, right.

The 2015 Milford Regional Medical Center Annual Meeting, held on January 25, 2016, was a celebration of remembrance honoring three individuals who have contributed much to the facility—social worker Karen Evers, retiring Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer Nancy Tomaso, RN, BSN and retiring CEO Frank Saba.

Evers, who passed away on Christmas Eve after being hit by a car in Holliston, her hometown, was a hospital employee for 11 years. She was remembered for her compassion, kindness, wisdom, and humor. "Karen loved Milford Regional and we really loved Karen," said new hospital CEO Ed Kelly, who announced the hospital is setting up the Karen Evers Social Worker Fund in her memory to help indigent patients.

"She had the ability to find the good in everyone," said Mark Skiba, MD, PhD, president of the Medical Staff, "to find the value in everyone." Dr. Skiba announced the Medical Staff voted to contribute $5000 to the Karen Evers fund. "Milford Regional Medical Center can cure many illnesses," said Skiba. "With this fund we can help temper the ills of poverty."

A hospital employee for over four decades, Tomaso began her career at the Medical Center as a licensed practical nurse. After becoming an RN, she worked in the intensive care unit, helped open the outpatient cardiac rehabilitation program, served as director of the cardiovascular department, director of the cardiac cath lab, administrative director of diagnostic imaging services and director of The Women's Pavilion before being named vice president of patient care and chief nursing officer.

The speakers and a video highlighted Tomaso's patient-centered focus, ability to get things done and enthusiasm for embracing new medical technologies to improve care. "We wanted to do things and you knew how to do them," said cardiologist William Shine, MD, FACC in the tribute video.

The final tributes of the night were reserved for Saba, who retired as CEO in December after serving almost three decades as a hospital administrator. The tributes emphasized Saba's leadership in keeping Milford Medical an independent community hospital by forging affiliations with major medical players in the area including UMass Medical Center in Worcester, Dana Farber, Brigham and Women's, and Boston Children's Hospital along with the Hockomock YMCA, the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center and the establishment of Tri-County Medical Associates, the hospital's affiliated physician group.

During Saba's tenure, the hospital campus expanded with the construction of the Hill Center for outpatient services in 1994, The Women's Pavilion in 1997, a $45 million Patient Care addition in 2005, the $25 million cancer center in 2008 and the $54 million Meehan Family addition in 2015. And beyond the physical look of the campus the quality of services offered within the buildings improved under Saba's leadership with numerous local, regional and national awards showered on the hospital, staff and physicians.

In his tribute, former Senator Louis Bertonazzi said Saba's mantra was "Doing the basics well." Noting that Saba has more than fulfilled on that promise Bertonazzi said the former CEO also brought "intangibles" to his job, a "compassionate nature, humility and sense of humor. It is the culture of caring you have fostered that we will remember most."

Others offering words of tribute were Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, State Senator Ryan Fattman R. Webster and State Reps. John Fernandes, D. Milford, and Jeffery Roy, D. Frankin.

"Thanks to all," said Saba in his remarks. "It has been absolutely wonderful working with you."

While not reviewed at the meeting, the statement of revenues and expenses for the hospital last year published in the annual report showed an increase in total operating revenues from $235.6 million in 2014 to $250 million in 2015. Operating expenses increased from $234 million to $248 million over the same period with income from operations rising from $1.89 million to $2.26 million. Community usage of the hospital increased in all categories expect for average length of stay, which dropped slightly from 3.5 days to 3.4 and volunteer hours, which went from 35,624 to 34,550.


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