Wellforce Names Top Leadership Positions for Member Hospitals

Michael Tarnoff, MD becomes CEO of Tufts Medical Center and Pam Whelton takes interim CEO role at MelroseWakefield Healthcare.

Michael E. Tarnoff

(Burlington) – Wellforce has named two highly-respected Massachusetts health care leaders to CEO positions within the health system. Michael Tarnoff, MD, FACS becomes President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Children’s Hospital. Pam Whelton, the former president of South Shore Hospital, will serve as the interim CEO of MelroseWakefield Healthcare.

“We have a strong, committed and aligned group of leaders at Wellforce and today our team got even stronger. Mike and Pam bring energy, an innovative spirit and immense talent to these two organizations and Wellforce overall,” said Michael Dandorph, President and CEO of Wellforce.

Dr. Tarnoff, who has spent 20 years of his career at Tufts Medical Center, has served as interim President and CEO for the past nine months. “We asked Mike to take over in the midst of a pandemic. We knew it wouldn’t be an easy job, even for the most experienced CEO. But Mike was exactly the right person for the position,” said Dandorph. “Mike has a remarkable ability to bring teams together and has been a true visionary partner with Medical Center and System leaders alike.”

Dr. Tarnoff began his career as a general surgeon at Tufts MC and quickly became skilled in advanced, minimally invasive abdominal surgery. He published 50 peer reviewed articles, chapters and textbooks in the areas of minimally invasive and bariatric surgery, before taking on leadership roles in the medical device industry. He served as Corporate Chief Medical Officer and Vice-President for Medical Affairs at Covidien, and later as Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President Value-Based Healthcare Partnerships for Medtronic, now the largest medical device company in the world.

Dr. Tarnoff returned to Tufts Medical Center full time in June of 2019, to assume the roles of Surgeon-in-Chief and Chair of the Department of Surgery.

”When I was asked to take on the Interim CEO role in the middle of the pandemic, I knew I couldn’t say no,” said Dr. Tarnoff. “Then I simply fell in love with the employees and physicians of Tufts Medical Center and Tufts Children’s Hospital, all of whom have inspired me every day that I have served in this role. To see their talent and dedication in action is incredibly moving.”

Pam Whelton, previously the president of South Shore Hospital, will be the interim CEO of MelroseWakefield Healthcare beginning June 14. Pam replaces Sue Sandberg who is moving to Colorado to be with family.

“If you ask health care leaders in Massachusetts who is one of the most successful community health care leaders, they will say that Pam Whelton is among the best of the best,” said Dandorph. “She has made it her life’s mission to ensure that families have the highest quality care conveniently located in their towns and neighborhoods. She has been a driving force in expanding the reach of community physicians and health care services. She is a wonderful addition to this team as we begin a search for a permanent leader.”

Prior to serving as South Shore Hospital’s President, she held positions as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer and SVP of Physician and Network Expansion with South Shore Health.

About Wellforce

Wellforce is the health system formed by Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health in 2014. Today, it also includes MelroseWakefield Healthcare (formerly Hallmark Health) and Home Health Foundation. Wellforce provides hospitals, physicians and health care innovators with a better option for collaboration and focuses on creating an unmatched experience for consumers and caregivers. Our system brings together the strengths of academic medicine and community care in a model that respects both equally. Wellforce includes more than 2,000 physicians and 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.