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Nancy Formella is Acting President of Hospital and Alliance


Nancy Formella
Nancy Formella

Nancy A. Formella, MSN, RN, has been named acting president of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Alliance. She will succeed James W. Varnum upon his retirement in April.

"We believe we have found a perfect fit with our choice of Nancy Formella," says Al Griggs, chair of the hospital board at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC). "She is a person who values the culture and the people of the medical center and who exemplifies our mission in every way." Peter Dale, chair of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Alliance (DHA), calls Formella "an ideal choice, who values a philosophy of a strong network of regional care, and who has worked directly with all our members on a number of initiatives aimed at improving patient care and outcomes."

Varnum and Formella have worked closely together since she joined the medical center as senior nurse executive in 1999. "Nancy has an extraordinary record of accomplishment. She is committed and conscientious, and operates with unswerving integrity and a determination to constantly improve the service we provide our patients and our region. I am delighted at the trustees' choice and her willingness to embrace the responsibilities of the hospital and alliance presidency," says Varnum.

Griggs and Dale pointed to Formella's success in attaining the coveted Magnet designation for nursing at DHMC. Magnet status is awarded only to hospitals that demonstrate the highest standards of nursing and the highest commitment to the continued advancement, education, and training of their nurses. "Nancy set a goal, laid out a plan, committed to a timetable, and got it done," says Dale.

In January, the trustees announced that they were suspending the search for a permanent replacement for Varnum in order to step back and examine possible opportunities for improvements in organizational operations and structure that should be addressed before bringing in a successor to Varnum. In a January 3 letter to physicians and staff, Board Chair Griggs called this time period "an opportunity for us to look at Dartmouth-Hitchcock and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Alliance with fresh eyes and to consider whether there are changes we could make at this time that would make these institutions stronger, more vibrant, and more secure."

"I am energized about leading two organizations that embody the best of our community," says Formella. "Service to our patients and our neighbors, either directly through the medical center or through the regional network of care provided through the alliance, is at the core of what we do every day."

Formella says she is particularly looking forward to working in partnership with Clinic President Tom Colacchio and Dartmouth Medical School Dean Stephen Spielberg. "The linking of our patient care and research and educational missions through a dynamic leadership collaboration is one of the strengths of DHMC," she says. "Together, the hospital, clinic, and medical school create a continuum of care that puts our patients at the center."

A resident of Hanover, where she lives with her husband and two sons, Formella received her BSN from the University of Iowa and a MSN from Marquette University, and has taken additional graduate-level courses at Marquette University and the University of Minnesota. She attended the Johnson and Johnson—Wharton Fellows Program for Nurse Executives in 1994.

She came to DHMC in January of 1999, from a national consulting firm where she was in a senior clinical consultant position for three years. Prior to that she held a variety of positions within the Mayo System, both in Rochester, Minn., and Jacksonville, Fla.

She was named the Nurse Leader of the Year by the New Hampshire Nurses Association in 2004, and in 2005 received the award for Nursing Management Excellence from the New Hampshire Organization of Nursing Leaders.


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Last Updated: 12/17/08