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Corporator Nomination and Orientation Committee Update


Twenty new corporators will be voted in on April 16

Twenty new corporators, representing 12 towns, will be officially voted in at the Emerson Health System Annual Meeting on April 16. For members of the Nominating Committee, it will represent the successful completion of their work, which got busy last fall with the arrival of nominations from board members, other corporators and friends of the hospital.

“The process was very seamless this year,” says Karen Donoghue, committee chair. “Because we had a significant number of open slots for corporators, we were able to draw from a terrific pool of nominations made this year, as well as go back to some of last year’s nominations that were not selected.”

Ms. Donoghue, who is in her seventh year as a corporator, will depart the Nominating Committee to join Bill Ryan as co-chair of the Corporator Executive Committee, effective for this coming year. Jeanne Kangas, current co-chair, will step down.

Cato Anderson, a corporator from Concord, will replace Ms. Donoghue as chair of the Nominating Committee. He’s been on the committee for three years and agrees the process is working. “At this point, it’s a well-oiled machine,” says Mr. Anderson. “We’re fortunate to have Janine Papesh from the development office involved. She has a good sense of what will best serve Emerson, which helps us pare down the list of nominees.”

Mr. Anderson is vice-president and partner at the McWalter-Volunteer Insurance Agency, which was established as a family-run, independent firm in Concord center in 1907. “The original McWalter was a cobbler, attorney and insurance agent,” he notes, adding that the company also has offices in Maynard and Boston. Although we no longer fix shoes or provide legal advice, we continue to help families and businesses with all of their insurance needs.”

He would like to see an increased number of younger individuals join as corporators. “People care about Emerson,” says Mr. Anderson. “The facilities are amazing, which is why I believe people support the hospital philanthropically.”

Mr. Anderson and his wife, Alexa, had their own reason to be grateful to Emerson when their twins arrived a few weeks early. “Throughout Alexa’s pregnancy, we had all the necessary services, including maternal-fetal medicine specialists and sophisticated ultrasound monitoring,” he says. “When the twins were born, they stayed in Emerson’s special care nursery, which was perfect. I tell my friends there is seldom a reason to go to Boston for care.” The Andersons also have an older son who was born at Emerson in 2008, making them one of the first families to enjoy the renovated Clough Birthing Center.

Walter Birge has replaced Kathy Vorce as chair of the Orientation Committee. Mr. Birge has been a member of the committee since 2010 and a corporator for 24 years. “Back then, there was no orientation whatsoever,” he recalls. “We were welcomed as new corporators and told that we needed to serve as the voice of the hospital.”

Today’s orientation goes a bit further than that. During four scheduled sessions beginning in March, Emerson’s 20 new corporators will receive a tour of the hospital and be given a handbook, which is reviewed with members of Emerson’s development office and the Orientation Committee. “We encourage people to ask questions, and we describe opportunities to become active—that is, to volunteer,” says Mr. Birge. “We also encourage them to donate to Emerson each year.”

During the summer, new corporators will be invited to have coffee or dinner with Christine Schuster, president and CEO of Emerson.

New corporators bring diverse interests, backgrounds

The roster of new corporators includes the following individuals highlighted here. For a full list of names and biographies, please click here.

Daniel Kusik’s connection to Emerson is one that few individuals can claim: he was the New Year’s Baby when he was born at the hospital on January 6, 1976. “At the time, the local Concord shops gave the first baby of the year gifts such as blankets, clothes and shoes from Mr. Hayes Shoe Store,” says Mr. Kusik, who grew up in Concord and moved to Carlisle in 2008. “Coincidentally, my older sister received the same honor when she was the year’s first baby born at Emerson a few years earlier.”

Mr. Kusik’s more recent experience with the hospital came with the birth of his two sons. “We checked out other hospitals, but after taking a tour of Emerson, we decided to have the kids there,” he says, noting how impressed he and his wife were with the childbirth and other classes for new parents.

Since then, the family occasionally visits the Emergency Department. “We brought our four-year-old in for stitches, and the staff was so nice to him. They gave him a bag of toys, and he forgot why he was there.” The “bag of toys” is one of a series of age-appropriate coping kits for pediatric patients, a program funded by the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary.

Mr. Kusik is owner and director of Advantage Testing of Boston, which has offices in Newton and Concord. “We provide private tutoring and test preparation services for students in middle school, high school, college and into graduate school,” he explains. “We also offer our services to students at Concord-Carlisle High School who would not otherwise have access to tutoring.”

He is ready to take on his responsibilities as a corporator. “My friends and neighbors in Carlisle need to hear about Emerson from someone who has direct experience with the hospital,” he says. “It’s a good feeling to have such a high-quality hospital in the community. I’m happy to endorse Emerson.”

Joe Lerner is new to Concord—he and his family moved to town from San Francisco one year ago—but they wasted no time in getting acquainted with Emerson. “Our second child was born there,” says Mr. Lerner, who grew up in Hollis, New Hampshire. “It was a top-notch experience.”

Mr. Lerner is managing partner of Cycle Power Partners, which is based in Oregon. “We’re involved in operating power plants—helping utility companies to acquire cost-effective energy and also working with distressed power plants,” he explains. His background includes working at a private equity firm focused on wind turbines. He is on Enterprise Bank’s advisory board and recently served on the search committee for a new head of school for Applewild School in Fitchburg, which he attended.

He was happy to get involved when Cato Anderson, a friend and the new chair of the Corporator Nominating Committee, nominated him. “Emerson is such an established institution in the area,” he says, noting that his wife’s family has roots in Sudbury. “Through the years, many family members have used the hospital. I’m aware of how Emerson has expanded its capabilities.”

Janet Wilkinson says she’s happy to in participate in anything that helps the community. She served as chair of the Board of Selectmen in Littleton from 2009-2011. During the 11 years she and her family have lived in the area, they’ve had opportunities to become acquainted with Emerson.

“I had my first child at Emerson, I’ve had gallbladder and hernia surgery there, and we’ve visited the Emergency Department for our children,” says Ms. Wilkinson. “I feel that I know the hospital.”

She certainly knows the world of health care. Ms. Wilkinson is senior lecturer and director at the MIT Sloan Initiative for Health Systems Innovation. “I lead action learning labs that are project-based courses,” she explains. “We send students into the field to work on specific problems. This past semester, we have 30 students working on seven different projects—in hospitals, startups and at payers.” Ms Wilkinson has been on-site in India, Kenya, Nepal and Zambia studying health care in those countries.

Closer to home, she predicts an increase in innovative telehealth and telemedicine products, especially in caring for older people or those with chronic diseases who are comfortable with technology. And there will be growing opportunities for community hospitals. “There is no question that more components of care will be available, and will need to be available, in the community,” she notes.

For a full list of Emerson Hospital corporators, please click here.