Lynn Community Health Center’s CEO Selected as Massachusetts Undersecretary for Health
Lynn-Lynn Community Health Center (LCHC) CEO, Dr. Kiame Mahaniah has been selected by Governor Maura Healey and her administration to serve as the Undersecretary of Health in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, under the new leadership of Secretary Kate Walsh, former CEO of Boston Medical Center.
Dr. Mahaniah has been a cornerstone of LCHC’s team since joining in September of 2015, providing compassionate, culturally competent care to patients, and earning a reputation not only as a trusted and knowledgeable physician, but also a wise community leader. During his tenure, he has played an instrumental role in expanding access to birth control in Lynn Public Schools, increasing access to substance use disorder and addiction programs in Lynn, expanding the Deborah Smith Walsh Recuperative Care Center for the most vulnerable population, opening a retail pharmacy, and perhaps most notably, leading Lynn Community Health Center through the global COVID-19 pandemic.
A champion of racial equity and dignity for all persons, Dr. Mahaniah valued his relationship with the employee union, SEIU1199, supported staff’s efforts to spearhead a Committee on Racial Equity, and participated in a monthly racial equity discussion with staff. Additionally, his leadership journey is anchored in a Lean Thinking improvement approach and a profound sense of empathy for LCHC employees and patient community.
In the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Mahaniah launched a team to focus on upcoming major changes to the healthcare system, colloquially called “Value-Based Payment”. His deep knowledge of complex healthcare systems will be an asset to the entire Commonwealth in this new role.
“While I look forward to this new role and to work that will impact every corner of the Commonwealth, I am also reflecting on my time here at LCHC and am overcome with gratitude,” said Dr. Kiame Mahaniah, CEO. “I am grateful to have been chosen to lead LCHC through a pivotal moment of transformation; grateful for the faith of the Executive Team and for the trust of the staff. We have accomplished so much together. And grateful for the Board’s patience as I grew into my role. Having a job that effortlessly resonates with my personal values was a gift beyond measure. My new role is a continuation of the LCHC mission values, and I will always hold Lynn close to my heart.”
Although his five and a half years as CEO will end on Friday, April 7th, Dr. Mahaniah intends to continue seeing patients at Lynn Community Health Center as much as his schedule allows.
LCHC’s Bylaws provide that the Board of Directors is responsible for the selection of the Chief Executive Officer. At their monthly meeting on Monday, March 13th, the Board unanimously voted to engage with an outside consulting firm to facilitate the search and hiring process that will lead to the selection of our next CEO. While this process is conducted, LCHC will be led by Interim CEO Dr. Geoff Pechinsky, Chief Medical Officer.
“On behalf of the entire LCHC Board, I want to assure our employees and the community that we have a strong leadership structure in place during this time of transition, so that the continuity of care for our patients, which is always our highest priority, will not be disrupted,” said Board President Kirirath S. Saing. “Additionally, the Board would like to thank Dr. Mahaniah. He is a leader that is capable not only to lead in time of stability, but more importantly, in time of crisis. His leadership in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic speaks for itself. With a passionate caring heart, Dr. Mahaniah worked with his board and led the employees of the health center with a calm mind and clear direction, and we all benefited because of his leadership. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is very fortunate to have him.”