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Care New England CEO Announces Retirement

Analysis  |  By Melanie Blackman  
   May 13, 2022

James E. Fanale, MD, will serve in a consultant role for the Rhode Island-based health system following his retirement.

Care New England Health System (CNE) announced this week that its president and CEO, James E. Fanale, MD, plans to retire next year.

Fanale has served as president and CEO of the Providence, Rhode Island-based health system since 2018. Following his retirement "in early 2023," Fanale will provide strategic advice to the board and help the new selected CEO transition into the role.

"Many years ago, it was my passion for caring for others which led me to practice as a geriatrician, which I still do to this very day, aside from serving as CNE’s president and CEO. It was one of the best decisions I ever made, because it gave me the opportunity to pursue my true passion of caring for others," Fanale said in a statement. "Now, after having spent my career doing what I enjoy and feeling that I’ve effectively improved access to state-of-the-art healthcare for all individuals who come to CNE, it’s time to leave the office behind and be with my wonderful wife and children."

CNE's board chair, Charles Reppucci, thanked Fanale for his work in a statement, saying "He is a stalwart supporter of CNE and a respected community leader on healthcare quality and accessibility.  His successes and accomplishments are extraordinary. As a practicing physician and CEO, his healthcare perspectives have been a benefit to Rhode Island, and we all owe him a debt of gratitude."

According to Providence Business News, Fanale will join CNE board members, executives, and clinical leadership to create a search committee for his successor. A transition team will then be formed to help create a smooth transition for the new CEO.

Fanale's announcement comes one month after LifeSpan president and CEO, Timothy Babineau, MD, announced he will be stepping down on May 31. Similar to Fanale, Babineau will also stay on as a consultant for the hospital system until the end of September.

CNE and LifeSpan failed to merge earlier this year in an eight-hospital system when the Federal Trade Commission and Rhode Island regulators filed a suit to block the proposed merger in February.

"Our review clearly established that Lifespan and CNE compete aggressively with each other across many inpatient and outpatient service lines," Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Neronha said in a media release.

"Eliminating this competition will have the same effects here as seen across the country following mergers of this size: rising healthcare costs, lower quality, and reduced access," Neronha said. "The parties simply have not demonstrated why these results would not happen here and how they would be able to deliver on promised benefits that would outweigh these risks."

The FTC formally dismissed an administrative antitrust complaint at the beginning of March, capping and memorializing the failed merger.

Melanie Blackman is the strategy editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.

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