Every team needs its leaders.
At Emerson Hospital, we are one big team. But within that team are smaller groups that make a huge impact on everything from daily operations to patient care to the hospital’s bright future. That is where our senior leaders come in. Learn all about them below.
Christine Schuster, RN, MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Schuster has over 30 years of health care experience. Prior to joining Emerson in 2005, she served as president and CEO of Quincy Medical Center and previously Athol Memorial Hospital. She also served as chief operating officer of the Extended Care Division of Tenet Saint Vincent Healthcare System in Worcester and director of critical care at New England Deaconess Hospital. Early in her career, she was a health care consultant with Coopers & Lybrand. Ms. Schuster received her master’s in business administration, with honors, from the University of Chicago Booth Business School and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Boston University.
Ms. Schuster serves on the board of directors of the Massachusetts Health Education and Financing Authority where she was elected chairman of the board. She currently serves as chairman of Power Options, the leading energy buying consortium in Massachusetts, as well as chair of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals and a board member of the Massachusetts chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She also serves on the advisory board of the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission. Ms. Schuster is a member of the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, the Suffolk Healthcare Administration Advisory Board, and the Massachusetts Health and Hospital Association Board of Trustees, where she recently joined the executive committee as secretary. Christine is chair of the Massachusetts Value Alliance, a purchasing consortium she created with South Shore and Sturdy Hospitals to reduce costs and enhance efficiencies in what is now a 14-member community hospital network. She is also currently a corporator for Middlesex Bank.
Ms. Schuster is a frequent speaker at the local and national level. She has been recognized numerous times for her leadership and community involvement. She was named to The Commonwealth Institute’s 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 lists of Top 100 Women-Led Businesses in Massachusetts. In 2017, Christine received the Excellent Non-Profit Leadership Award from the Middlesex West Chamber of Commerce and the American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award (which she also received in 2009). In 2019, 2018 and 2014, she received the American Hospital Association Most Valuable PAC Player Award for her leadership in encouraging advocacy to benefit hospitals and patients. Also in 2014, Becker's Hospital Review named her as one of “130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know”. In 2011, Ms. Schuster received the Businessperson of the Year Award from the Concord Chamber of Commerce as well the “Prescription for Excellence Award” from the Mass. Medical Health Law Report. She received the Maynard Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award in 2008.
Eric Stastny, MHA
Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Stastny oversees all inpatient and outpatient operations at Emerson as well as human resources and the physician practices for the Emerson Health System. Mr. Stastny has a broad range of experience in both hospital settings and physician practices. Mr. Stastny earned a bachelor's degree in business administration and a master's in health care administration from Ohio University. During his 12 years at Emerson, Eric has accomplished many noteworthy milestones. First, in our human resources department, he implemented significant technology enhancements making our job application, resume tracking, performance management, and benefits processes fully paperless. Over the past few years, Eric led a number of successful facility renovation projects including our state-of-the-art Center for Rehabilitation and Sports Therapies, the new Steinberg Wellness Center for the Mind and Body, the Naka Infusion Center, Mass General Cancer Center as well as our new Urgent Care Centers.
Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Coco is a proven health care financial executive with an outstanding record of accomplishment. Before joining the team at Emerson he was the senior vice president & chief financial officer at South Shore Health (SSH), where he served in a leadership capacity for 15 years. He was SSH’s financial lead for the electronic medical record transition to Epic and the fiscal leader for multiple campus expansion projects and clinical affiliations. Under his direction, SSH was recognized by the Healthcare Financial Management Association with a 2021 MAP Award for High Performance in Revenue Cycle. At a pivotal time for our health system, Mr. Coco joins Emerson to support our vision of transforming care in our region as we expand our scale and scope over the next several years. He is eager to work for a health system focused on the patient experience, allowing him to be closer to the patient, a particular area of health care administration in which he thrives and enjoys.
Barrett Kitch, MD, MPH
Senior Vice President of Clinical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Kitch is responsible for the oversight and functions of Emerson’s departments of quality and patient safety, care management, and adult and pediatric hospitalist services. Dr. Kitch came to Emerson from North Shore Medical Center in Salem, Mass., where he served as vice chair of medicine and chief of pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. Dr. Kitch has been a leading figure at Partners HealthCare for his collaborative approach to quality and patient safety. He co-chairs the Partners Critical Care Collaborative and the Partners Sepsis Work Group. He has twice been the recipient of the Partners-wide Nesson Award for physician leadership. Previously, he was an associate physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the division of pulmonary and critical care in addition to serving as a senior research scientist in the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital. Dr. Kitch received an undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before graduating from the UNC School of Medicine. He received his master’s in public health from the Harvard School of Public Health. He completed his internship and residency at Mass General and a Harvard Combined Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellowship. Dr. Kitch is board certified in critical care medicine.
Christine Gallery, JD
Senior Vice President, Planning and Chief Strategy Officer
Ms. Gallery develops programs that ensure the continued growth of hospital services. She leads the organization’s strategic planning and business development efforts, directs the hospital’s marketing strategy and oversees physician recruitment and physician relations, volunteer services and the hospital’s Steinberg Wellness Center for Mind and Body. She has been with Emerson since 1996. Previously, she was director of physician network development at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Brighton. Ms. Gallery received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the College of the Holy Cross and a JD cum laude from Suffolk University Law School. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar. Ms. Gallery is past president of the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development. In 2012, she was named Strategist of the Year by the New England Society for Healthcare Strategy. She is a frequent lecturer on topics related to strategic planning and business development.
Craig L. Best, MD, MPH, FACOG
President of Emerson Practice Associates and Senior Vice President of Emerson Health
Dr. Best oversees the direction and management of all Emerson Practice Associates practices, including strategic and business planning, operations, finance, and physician recruitment. He is an obstetrician/gynecologist with close to thirty years of experience in leadership roles. Dr. Best completed his OB/GYN residency training at the University of California San Francisco, Fresno, and fellowship trainings in clinical reproductive medicine and reproductive immunology research at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. After fellowship, Dr. Best was chief of gynecology at Carney Hospital in Dorchester and principal owner and medical director of ivpcare, inc., a highly successful Inc. 500 company. After ivpcare’s sale, Dr. Best concentrated his career on healthcare administration, first at Reliant Medical Group as the OB/GYN department chair and then medical director of business development. Prior to joining Emerson, he was the executive vice president of Tufts Medicine Health System and president of Tufts Medicine Employed Physician Group. Dr. Best currently serves as chairman of the board for March of Dimes, chairman of the clinical advisory board for SimpliFed, and as a member of the board of directors for Coverys. He is a fellow in the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
John Libertino, MD
Senior Vice President, Clinical Business Development
John Libertino, MD, supports the strategy of Emerson's clinical business development. In addition, Dr. Libertino is chair of urology at Emerson Hospital and practices with Emerson Urology Associates. Prior to joining Emerson in 2016, Dr. Libertino held several senior positions at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center, including CEO and chairman, chairman of the division of surgery, vice chairman of the board of trustees, and director of the Sophia Gordon Cancer Center. Dr. Libertino completed his residency in urology at Yale-New Haven Medical Center, and is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine. He is board certified in urology and surgery, and has treated patients for more than five decades.
Mark Mahnfeldt, RN-BC, MBA, MSN NEC-A
Vice President of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer
Mr. Mahnfeldt, RN-BC, MBA, MSN NEC-A, is responsible for the planning, growth, and operations of nursing and patient care services throughout Emerson’s health system. He arrived at Emerson after serving as vice president of acute care nursing operations at South Shore Hospital, helping the hospital earn numerous awards for exemplary acute care and nursing excellence. Prior to that role, Mr. Mahnfeldt was South Shore Hospital’s director of medical/surgical/critical care/cardiovascular nursing, inpatient surgical, and ambulatory surgical services. He has also held nurse leadership positions with MelroseWakefield Healthcare and at North Shore Medical Center. Mr. Mahnfeldt earned a bachelor’s in nursing from Northeastern University, and received his Master of Science in Nursing and a Master of Business Administration from Salem State College. He lives with his family in Lynnfield, Mass.
Vice President of Development and Chief Philanthropy Officer
Mr. Kussin develops, implements and maintains a comprehensive program that maximizes philanthropic support for all of Emerson’s charitable components and affiliates. In addition, he provides strategic oversight and direction for the Emerson Health Care Foundation, the hospital’s fundraising arm. Guided by a volunteer board, the Emerson Health Care Foundation raises millions of dollars annually for facility enhancements, technology investments and clinical advancement through special appeals, fundraising campaigns, the Emerson Hospital Auxiliary and the support of corporators who serve as ambassadors for the hospital in their local communities. Previously, Mr. Kussin served as the director of development at Nashoba Brooks School in Concord and as the director of development at Suffolk University in Boston. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and marketing management from the University of Vermont.
Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Ms. Fosberg has worked for nearly 20 years as a leader in the health care information systems industry. Prior to joining Emerson she worked for Caritas Christi Health Care (now Steward Health Care) for ten years. In her current role as Emerson Hospital’s chief information officer, she provides direction to the health system’s strategy, policy and implementation of information technology and telecommunication systems. Her team delivers a premium service level for support of the desktops, software, and data center infrastructure, as well as biomedical and diagnostic imaging equipment used by the clinicians and support staff. Ms. Fosberg has been recognized in Becker’s Healthcare as a Top 100 CIOs to Know in 2016 and 2018, and she was named a “Rising Star” by Health Management Technology. She holds a Bachelor of Science in healthcare management and policy from the University of New Hampshire.
Christi Barney, RN, MSN
Vice President of Quality & Patient Safety
Ms. Barney brings a wealth of leadership experience to her role as head of the quality and patient safety department. Most recently, she served as the executive director of patient safety, quality, risk management, infection control, CDI, and clinical compliance at Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital (BWFH), where she received the BWFH Leadership Award in 2015 as well as the Partners in Excellence Award on six separate occasions. Ms. Barney has extensive experience in implementing high reliability and "Just Culture" frameworks at BWFH, in addition to contributing to several committees focused on quality and safety. She was liaison to the Mass General Brigham (MGB) Enterprise Quality, Safety and Compliance Committees, chair of the Compliance Leaders Committee from 2016-2018, and the (MGB) Enterprise representative to the Joint Commission Healthcare Corporate Liaison Committee, among many others. Ms. Barney worked as a clinical leader and psychiatric and mental health nurse for more than 20 years before transitioning to quality and patient safety at BWFH in 2011. She earned her bachelor’s in nursing at Purdue University and her master’s in nursing at Yale University.
Dave Ryan, JD
Vice President of Human Resources
Mr. Ryan is an experienced human resources executive and attorney with demonstrated success leading human resources for community hospitals and academic medical centers in Massachusetts, including Brigham Health, MelroseWakefield Hospital and Cape Cod Healthcare. He has a record of successfully partnering with executive leadership to create and execute human capitol strategies in periods of industry disruption and financial challenges. Mr. Ryan has a strong foundation in all HR disciplines with specific expertise in employment law and labor relations. He is responsible for ensuring that Emerson Hospital attracts and retains top health care talent so as to serve Emerson’s patients and community. Mr. Ryan grew up in Massachusetts and earned his bachelor's degree at Boston College and his J.D. at Suffolk Law School.
Vice President of Strategic Marketing
Ms. Clancy provides strategic direction and oversight of Emerson's marketing, internal and external communications, public relations, and website properties. She has close to 20 years of experience working in health and human services, with more than 12 years at regional health systems. Her extensive marketing and communications experience include leadership roles at large academic health systems such as Lahey Hospital & Medical Center and Dartmouth-Hitchcock and regional/community health systems such as Southern NH Medical Center and Solution Health. Ms. Clancy has presented on digital marketing topics at the national level. She has held board positions with the American Red Cross and Front Door Agency in Nashua, N.H. Ms. Clancy is a graduate of Massachusetts Hospital Association Leadership College class of 2020. She is a member of the New England Society for Health Care Communications and the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development.
Special Advisor to the CEO, Governance and Special Projects
Mr. Berkman oversees governance and special projects as an advisor to Emerson President and CEO Christine Schuster. In this role, he works closely with Emerson’s Board of Directors, helping them fulfill their responsibilities to the hospital. Mr. Berkman has a high level of experience in hospital administration, most recently as a partner with HealthCARE Management Consulting, where he helped provide operational analyses and cost savings ideas to hospitals and other medical centers. Prior to that position, he was senior vice president for member services at Yankee Alliance, a regional group purchasing organization for hospitals and nursing homes. Mr. Berkman has also been a senior hospital executive at several hospitals in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Mr. Berkman holds a bachelor’s degree in bacteriology from the University of Maine, a Master of Business Administration from Suffolk University, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Standing from Northeastern University. As a member of the U.S. Army, he rose to the rank of captain in the Medical Service Corps and received the Army Commendation Medal. He is a fellow with the American College of Healthcare Executives, as well as current treasurer and past president of ACHE of Massachusetts. He is also a board member and current treasurer of Temple Emmanuel of Wakefield.