The Schwartz Center Announces Michael Gustafson, MD, MBA, as New Chief Executive Officer

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Michael Gustafson, MD, MBA, as the new chief executive officer of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare. Dr. Gustafson is a leader with three decades of experience in healthcare strategy, operations, and leadership, as well as an inspiring personal commitment to improving patient safety, quality of care, and the patient/family experience throughout his career. Dr. Gustafson brings a wide range of experience, passion, and commitment to our mission of keeping compassion at the heart of healthcare.

He most recently served as president of UMass Memorial Medical Center (UMMMC), an 800-bed tertiary teaching hospital in central Massachusetts that serves as the clinical partner of the UMass Chan Medical School. Over his five-year tenure, he guided UMMMC through the COVID-19 pandemic while simultaneously implementing a strategic plan to transform quality and safety, patient experience, and caregiver engagement.

Previously, he served as the president/COO of Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, the Brigham’s fully integrated community hospital in Boston from 2011-2018 and as SVP for clinical excellence at Brigham and Women’s Hospital from 2000-2011. During this time, he founded the Brigham’s Center for Clinical Excellence, which was heralded as a national best practice for how to effectively organize and drive improvement activities within a large, complex academic medical center.

“Michael’s visionary leadership, strategic acumen, and dedication to making a positive impact on the lives of healthcare workers, patients, and families align seamlessly with our core values,” said Ellen Cohen, founder and board member of the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare.

Dr. Gustafson received his medical degree at West Virginia University and completed his general surgery residency at the Brigham, including a three-year, NIH-funded surgical research fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital. He later went on to become one of the first surgeons to receive an MBA from Harvard Business School. Dr. Gustafson has held academic appointments in surgery at the UMass Chan Medical School and Harvard Medical School, where early in his career he spearheaded some of the first patient safety efforts in the field of surgery.

Dr. Gustafson joins us with a proven track record of driving improvement in quality, safety, equity, experience, and value for both patients and their caregivers, demonstrating a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities in the healthcare sector.

“As we embark on this new chapter under Dr. Gustafson’s guidance, we are confident that his leadership will further enhance our ability to serve the healthcare community, drive innovation, and make a meaningful difference in the lives of those we support,” said Mark E. Reynolds, Schwartz Center board chair and president of CRICO.

“As I step into my new role as CEO of the Schwartz Center, I’m committed to championing compassion and driving innovation while building a better healthcare world for all,” said Dr. Gustafson. “With support from our generous donors, healthcare members, and dedicated volunteers and staff, I look forward to bringing to life the Schwartz Center’s vision of creating a world where all who seek and provide care experience compassion.”

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