6 things to know about Dr. Michael Wagner, CEO of Tufts

Michael Wagner, MD, is CEO of Boston-based Tufts Medical Center and has stepped into the spotlight this past week as the hospital found itself at the center of Boston's first nurses' strike in 30 years.

Though nurses returned to work Monday, they are still without a contract. Dr. Wagner, 58, has a history of standing firm on issues he feels strongly about and it remains to be seen how he will handle negotiations with the Massachusetts Nurses Association moving forward.

Here are six things you should know about Dr. Wagner.

  1. Dr. Wagner has served as the CEO of Tufts since 2014, having previously served as interim CEO for seven months and CMO and chief of general medical associates for the hospital.

  2. A primary care physician, he was recognized as a "Top Doctor" in 2012 by U.S News & World Report and Boston Magazine.

  3. In 2014, when Boston-based Partners Healthcare was planning on acquiring South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass., and Hallmark Health System in Melrose, Mass., Dr. Wagner led a coalition of other local health systems to put public pressure on Partners to stop the transactions. Dr. Wagner said the proposed deal would make Partners four times the size of the next largest system in the state. Partners abandoned the deals in 2015.

  4. When discussing the potential strike last week, Dr. Wagner was measured but stern regarding negotiation with the union. "I have to look at the entire organization and look at what’s in the best interests to create a sustainable platform," Dr. Wagner said about the strike. "What's been put on the table by the Massachusetts Nurses Association wouldn't be responsible for them or us."

  5. Has been described as a "very capable, very measured and thoughtful healthcare executive" by former Tufts CEO Ellen Zane.

  6. Dr. Wagner previously served as the chief executive of the hospitalists division at Dallas-based EmCare.

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