Keith A. Hovan, the former Southcoast Health president and CEO who left his position in January following a November 2021 arrest for alleged domestic assault and battery, has launched a website, social media pages and a blog branding himself as a “healthcare CEO” and offering opinions on health care issues.
On the homepage of his website is a quote attributed to Winston Churchill about being an optimist and seeing the opportunity in every difficulty.
Hovan was placed on paid leave in November. The Southcoast Health board of trustees subsequently announced in late January that it would be in the “best interest” if he did not return to the nonprofit hospital system that he had led for more than a decade.
After the assault and battery charge against him was dismissed when the alleged victim chose not to testify, Hovan was facing a possible felony charge relating to firearm feeding devices found securely stored in his home, according to police records.
A clerk magistrate hearing was scheduled to see if there was probable cause to issue the charge, the outcome of which has not been disclosed by local police, the court or Hovan’s attorney despite inquiries from The Light.
The longtime health care executive, who started out as a nurse before assuming various executive hospital positions in Connecticut, New York and Massachusetts, is now branding himself as a “senior healthcare executive,” strategist and clinician.
In May, he published a blog post on his website about the problem of burnout among primary care physicians and possible solutions to it, including ensuring support systems are in place.
“We must take the time to understand the burden placed on these physicians,” he wrote. “As CEO, I had a responsibility not just to lend a listening ear to our PCPs but also to get them the support they needed to ease the burden.”
Hovan this week tweeted and posted on Instagram about the blog post to a few followers.
The website includes an “in the news” section that dates back to 2010, with press clippings about Hovan receiving honors, presenting awards, sharing views on legislation and celebrating Southcoast Health’s accomplishments. Not included is the news coverage of his arrest and subsequent departure from the health care organization.
Under a photos tab are several pictures of Hovan posing with community leaders, colleagues, family and elected officials, including then-Vice President Joe Biden.
His website also includes a “what people say” section with positive stories and comments from the mother of a former pediatric patient, who said Hovan showed great empathy and “did everything in his power” to help her and her family; the president of a health care consulting firm, who said Hovan influenced significant health policy for the hospital industry; and the president of the Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association who, according to the website, said Hovan helped promote “significant transformational impact” for the state’s community health systems.
Hovan had served on the association’s board of trustees until January of 2022, per a spokesperson.
Jill Fearons and Ellen Bender confirmed with The Light by phone that they provided the statements. Fearons said Hovan reached out to her several weeks ago asking for a quote she could provide for his website, and that she could only speak on a personal experience she had with him years ago.
The Light contacted Hovan on Tuesday for comment on the website and his future employment plans. He did not immediately respond.
According to Twitter, the account was created in February of 2022, with the only tweet dated June 13. As of Tuesday, he had fewer than five followers between the Twitter and Instagram accounts, which are both linked through his website.
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