Healthcare Business News
Donald Berwick, former CMS administrator

Berwick enters race for Mass. governor

By Ashok Selvam
Posted: June 17, 2013 - 1:45 pm ET

Dr. Donald Berwick, the ex-CMS administrator and co-founder of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, has announced his campaign for governor of Massachusetts.

Berwick, 66, resigned from his CMS post in November 2011. He was followed by Marilyn Tavenner, whom Congress confirmed as Berwick's successor in May.

Berwick took to the Internet with the news, making the announcement on his campaign website and posting it on a separate Twitter account for his campaign. In his statement, he said he'd been mulling the run for months. He first showed interest for the governor's office in January. Democrat Deval Patrick has held the governor's seat since 2007 and announced he would not run for re-election. Republican Charles Baker, who lost to Patrick in 2010, is also considering a campaign.

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“As a doctor, an educator, an innovator and someone who has dedicated his professional career to making things work better and to helping people—I am ready to lead,” Berwick's statement read.

The announcement also referred to Massachusetts' healthcare system, and how it could serve as a model for the rest of country while “reaching out to its most vulnerable citizens.”

Berwick has ties with Massachusetts, as he attended medical school and earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard University, where he trained to be a pediatrician. He also had served with Cambridge, Mass.-based IHI for 20 years prior to working with the CMS. His CMS tenure began in July 2010, but it ended when Democrats refused to schedule a confirmation hearing when Republicans pledged to block Berwick's nomination. The GOP repeatedly took issue with Berwick's praise of the British socialized healthcare system. His departure came just months before Berwick's CMS term was set to expire.

He currently serves as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a left-leaning Washington-based think tank. Berwick's been there since March 2012.

Evan Falchuk, vice chairman of Best Doctors, a Boston-based firm, has also announced his gubernatorial run. Falchuk, 43, will run under the United Independent Party banner, a party that formed earlier this year. Best Doctors ranked No. 10 on Modern Healthcare's Hottest Companies of 2012. The election will take place on Nov. 4, 2014.

Follow Ashok Selvam on Twitter: @MH_aselvam

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