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Cambridge Health gets a new CEO

Cambridge Health Alliance trustees have chosen Patrick Wardell as the alliance’s new chief executive, contingent on contract negotiations.

The alliance operates three public hospitals: Cambridge Hospital, Somerville Hospital, and Whidden Hospital in Everett.

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Wardell replaces Dennis D. Keefe, who resigned in July to become CEO of Care New England in Rhode Island. At Cambridge Health Alliance, its chief operating officer, Allison Bayer, has served as acting CEO for six months.

Wardell currently is president and chief executive at Hurley Medical Center, a 463-bed teaching hospital in Flint, Mich.

The hospital group, which treats a disproportionate share of low-income patients, has suffered financial setbacks in recent years. And hospitals throughout the state are under pressure as insurers change the ways they reimburse hospitals in a bid to contain health care costs.

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