Caritas names heart surgeon Ralph de la Torre to head hospital system
After a lengthy nationwide search, Caritas Christi Health Care has named Ralph de la Torre as the system’s new president and chief executive officer.
De la Torre will take over for Caritas Norwood President John Chessare, who has served as the interim system president and CEO since May 2006, while the system conducted a nationwide search for a new leader.
A cardiac surgeon with dual graduate degrees from Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, de la Torre is a founder and former president and CEO of the Cardiovascular Institute and Cardiovascular Management Associates at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
De la Torre will be responsible for overseeing the operations of the system’s six-hospitals.
Chessare said Wednesday that while he will still be serving as the system’s senior vice president for quality and patient care, the appointment of de la Torre will free him up to focus more on running Caritas Norwood Hospital.
As interim president, Chessare said he had offices both in Norwood as well as at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Boston and frequently made trips to all six of the system’s hospitals.
“I was spending probably 50 percent of my time in Norwood, and the Norwood job is really a full-time job, so this will allow me to go back full time which is a good thing,” said Chessare.
Chessare also said the appointment of de la Torre should help the system as a whole.
“This is a great day for Caritas Christi because we need to put a stake in the ground and say we have permanent leadership now, and we’re moving forward,” said Chessare.
“While certain challenges lie ahead, I look forward to working with professionals across the system to strengthen the system’s performance and financial stability through innovation and collaboration,” de la Torre said in a statement. “The board and I share the vision and expectation that by building on Caritas’ foundation as a high quality provider, we will ensure that our hospitals continue their important mission well into the future.”
James Karam, chairman of the board of governors of Caritas Christi Health Care, said in a statement he believes de la Torre’s leadership will be beneficial to the entire system.
“Dr. de la Torre’s experience in and strategic understanding of the complex relationships involving hospital operations and finance, physician practices and network development, along with his ability to innovate new partnerships make him uniquely qualified to lead the network at this critical juncture in its history,” said Karam.
De la Torre graduated from Duke University in 1988 with a bachelor of science in engineering and holds a medical degree from Harvard Medical School and a masters of science in health science and technology from MIT.
Daily News Transcript staff writer Brian Falla can be reached at 781-433-8339 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.