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Wellforce Names Accomplished Healthcare Leader as New CEO

December 11, 2019

Wellforce, the high quality, integrated Massachusetts health system, has united its member organizations under a new name - Tufts Medicine.

Michael J. Dandorph to champion innovation + growth for Massachusetts health system

Michael Dandorph

Wellforce today announced that Michael J. Dandorph will become the president and chief executive officer of the growing health system, effective January 2020. In this role, Dandorph will unite more than 15,000 Wellforce employees and clinicians in the common goal of integrating academic medicine and high-quality care across all healthcare members, physician groups and the communities they serve. Dandorph was selected for this executive position after an extensive national search.

Dandorph joins Wellforce after serving as president of Rush University System for Health and Rush University Medical Center, a leading health system in the metropolitan Chicago area that employs 15,000 people across several medical centers, more than 30 regional outpatient locations and a fully integrated health science university.

“Mike’s professional experience includes virtually every facet of the healthcare landscape from large academic medical centers to smaller community hospitals and health plans,” said Ellen Zane, Chair of the Board of Trustees at Wellforce. “Beyond Mike’s proven ability to develop and grow successful health systems, he is an innovative strategist and collaborator whose inclusive attitude will enable our teams to further enhance the lasting impacts we make on the lives of our patients and the healthcare community as a whole.”

Under Dandorph’s leadership, Rush elevated its quality rankings and patient satisfaction scores to within the top decile of the nation, reduced patient safety events by 40 percent over three years, expanded the system’s clinical enterprise by more than $900 million in operating revenues and navigated a system-wide strategic plan focused on expanding its reach while simultaneously addressing health equity gaps in the diverse communities it serves.


“It is an absolute honor to be selected by the Wellforce board to lead the health system at such an important time of change in healthcare. Having met with many board members, dozens of physicians and numerous clinical and administrative leaders across Wellforce’s esteemed entities, I am incredibly impressed with every team member’s commitment to compassionate, patient-centric care,” Dandorph said. “It was the people I met who showed me that Wellforce is well positioned to deliver on the promise to create a true and distinctive partnership between academic and community medicine, one that distributes the most advanced healthcare services to benefit the diverse individuals and communities it serves now and for the long-term. I look forward to collaborating with my new colleagues and creating other innovative partnerships for Wellforce. Together, we will propel a new vision for healthcare – one that provides care that is of the highest quality, is conveniently accessible and reduces the economic burden for consumers and the business community in the Boston region and beyond.”


Before being named President at Rush, Dandorph spent three years as chief operating officer and executive vice president for clinical affairs. He also spent more than 17 years at the University of Pennsylvania Health System (Penn Medicine) where he led Penn’s managed care efforts, created robust network affiliations and partnerships and expanded clinical programs across the Philadelphia region as senior vice president of strategy and business development.

Dandorph replaces Norm Deschene who retired in December 2018. Since then, Michael Wagner, MD has served as interim Wellforce CEO and will return to his position as chief physician executive for Wellforce in January.

Dandorph and his wife, Jean, have three college-aged children and look forward to finding a new home in Massachusetts.


About Wellforce

Wellforce logo

Wellforce is the health system formed by Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health in 2014. On January 1, 2017, MelroseWakefield Healthcare (formerly Hallmark Health) joined the system and in October 2018 Home Health Foundation became the fourth member. Wellforce provides hospitals and physicians with a better option for collaboration. Our system brings together the strengths of academic medicine and community care in a model that respects both equally. Our members are dedicated to providing patients with the highest level of care when and where they want it. Wellforce includes more than 2,000 physicians, 13,000 employees, four community hospital campuses, one academic medical center, a children’s hospital, home health and hospice services and more than $2 billion in revenue.


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