News Releases

Laurence Brinckerhoff, M.D., chief of thoracic surgery at Tufts Medical Center, has joined the clinical team at Hallmark Health Cancer Center in Stoneham, Mass.

Dr. Brinckerhoff’s clinical interests include advanced treatment modalities for lung cancer, minimally invasive thoracic surgery, clinical trials and tumor immunology.

He received his medical degree from Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College. He completed his surgical residency at University of Virginia Health System, as well as a residency in cardiothoracic surgery at the University of Colorado.

“We are pleased to welcome Dr. Brinckerhoff to our cancer center,” said Joseph Pennacchio, MD, medical oncologist and director of the Hallmark Health Cancer Center. “He is one of the leading thoracic surgeons in the Boston area and he brings tremendous expertise in the surgical treatment of lung and other thoracic cancers. Our collaboration with Tufts Medical Center physicians, through our Wellforce relationship, allows our patients to receive expert specialty care close to home.”

Dr. Brinckerhoff has published and presented nationally on a range of topics related to lung cancer, minimally invasive thoracic surgery and other cancers. He is an associate professor of surgery at Tufts University School of Medicine, where he has received the Excellence in Teaching Award and the Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award.

In January 2017 Hallmark Health became a founding member of Wellforce, along with Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health/Lowell General Hospital. As a member of Wellforce, Hallmark Health is able to provide greater access to services and academic medicine and support the full continuum of care in the most appropriate setting for patients.

For more information or to make an appointment at his office at 41 Montvale Ave., in Stoneham, please call 781-224-5875.

Hallmark Health has named Michael Connelly chief financial officer and executive vice president. In this role, he oversees all aspects of Hallmark Health System’s financial performance, leading the strategy, operations and financial functions of the $300 million dollar organization.

Connelly has been interim chief financial officer since August 2016, and was instrumental in helping Hallmark Health successfully navigate the Wellforce affiliation and budget strategy.

Connelly brings extensive health care financial and leadership experience. As a health care consultant, he has provided financial, operational and strategy services to health care clients locally and nationally. He served as president and chief executive officer of Huggins Hospital in Wolfeboro, NH, from 2012 to 2015, following roles of executive vice president and chief operating officer and interim chief financial officer.  He has also served as an administrative director at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and chief financial officer at East Boston Neighborhood Health Center.

Connelly holds a master of business administration degree from Bentley College. He is a certified public accountant and a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Nicole Bloor, MD, a well-known board-certified, primary care physician, has joined Hallmark Health Medical Associates.

Dr. Bloor spent the past 20 years in private practice in Melrose.  She received her medical degree from Tufts Medical School, and completed her residency training at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

In 2015, Dr. Bloor’s practice earned National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) Recognition for using evidence-based, patient-centered processes that focus on highly coordinated care and long‐term, participative relationships.

Dr. Bloor has been active on numerous Hallmark Health physician boards and committees including serving as president of the Hallmark Health System Medical Staff, medical director of the Hallmark Health PHO and a member of the Hallmark Health Medical Executive Committee.

Dr. Bloor practices at 727 Main St., Melrose. For more information or to make an appointment, please call 781-662-2204.

Michael Newman, MD, FACP, CPE, has been named president of Hallmark Health Medical Associates (HHMA) and system vice president of Hallmark Health System. Dr. Newman has been successfully serving as interim president of HHMA, Hallmark Health’s employed provider organization, since September.

Dr. Newman is a board-certified gastroenterologist who has practiced on the North Shore for nearly 25 years. He has served as chief medical officer of HHMA and as director of gastroenterology for Hallmark Health System and HHMA.

He received his medical degree from New York University Medical School. Dr. Newman completed his residency training at the University of Michigan Medical Center and a fellowship in gastroenterology and hepatology at Thomas Jefferson University. Dr. Newman is the author of numerous abstracts and medical articles.


Hallmark Health Joins Wellforce

Hallmark Health Board of Trustees approves final agreement to officially join

Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health as an equal founding member


Medford, MA – Dec. 22, 2016 - The Board of Trustees of Hallmark Health, the parent company of Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, today voted unanimously to finalize and approve the proposed  affiliation agreement with Wellforce, the parent company of Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health (including Lowell General Hospital). The affiliation, which will increase residents’ access to high quality, affordable health care in their communities, will take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

“We are excited to embark on this new and important chapter in the history of Hallmark Health.  With our Wellforce colleagues we are committed to bringing additional services and resources to patients in our communities for generations to come,” said Alan Macdonald, president and CEO of Hallmark Health. “Our staff and our physicians are looking forward to the tremendous collaboration that is about to begin.”

“With the addition of Hallmark Health, Wellforce physicians and hospitals provide affordable, community-focused care across Eastern Massachusetts,” said Norm Deschene, CEO of Wellforce.  “Through this broader affiliation, we’ll share best practices, new ideas and strategies for better, more efficient health care.”

The vote by the Hallmark Health Board of Trustees comes after a six-month period of exclusive discussions between Hallmark Health and Wellforce as well as approvals by all of the necessary state and federal regulatory agencies. By entering the affiliation as a third, equal founding member, Hallmark Health maintains significant governance in the organization, equal representation on the Wellforce board and significant oversight of those decisions that impact Hallmark Health services and promote local access to care. 

“As a member of Wellforce we will be able to provide greater access to services and support the full continuum of care in the most appropriate setting for our patients,” explained Macdonald.  “We will have better access to academic medicine through Tufts Medical Center here in our communities; we will foster a collaborative spirit to share best practices in clinical excellence; and we will have access to capital to keep our facilities and systems strong and up to date.”

 “Wellforce and its member hospitals and physicians have an exceptional clinical expertise and reputation,” said Wayne Wivell, MD, president of the Hallmark Health medical staff.  “We are excited to work together with our new Wellforce peers and explore opportunities for clinical integration of services to bring new levels of care locally for the health of our patients and our communities.”

Wellforce was founded in October of 2014 with the joining of Circle Health and Tufts Medical Center. In just two years, Wellforce has achieved more than $5 million in savings on supplies, services and other synergies for its member organizations. Wellforce organizations have collaborated to bring expert Tufts Medical Center pediatricians, neonatologists, surgeons, ICU specialists and others out of Boston and into the Merrimack Valley.

“This great collaboration has not only benefited our local patients, it has also benefited the members of Wellforce,” said Jody White, President of Lowell General Hospital.  “We have experienced increases in volume and more of the area’s sickest and seriously injured people are able to receive care and treatment close to home. More Merrimack Valley patients are selecting Tufts Medical Center over other academic medical centers, ensuring patient care is well coordinated between their community hospital and academic medical center.”

In addition, the more than 400 physicians in the Hallmark Health physician-hospital organization have also joined the New England Quality Care Alliance (NEQCA), Tufts Medical Center’s network of community physicians, which is part of Wellforce. With the new affiliations, the Wellforce System is nearly 3,000 affiliated physicians strong, offers more than 1,000 inpatient beds for those in need and employs 12,000 staff members.

“Our philosophy is simple – people should not have to travel to Boston for care they could and should receive in the community. We can bring high level care to them, where they live,” said Michael Wagner, MD, President and CEO of Tufts Medical Center. “This new affiliation with Hallmark Health presents an exciting opportunity. We will collaborate with excellent community caregivers and extend our value-based services to people in the northern suburbs.”


About Hallmark Health

Hallmark Health is a coordinated system of hospitals, physician practices and community-based services providing care for communities throughout north suburban Boston.  Since its inception in 1997, Hallmark Health has been committed to its mission of providing quality care for its communities and achieving clinical excellence for the patients it serves. The system includes Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford; Hallmark Health Medical Center, Reading; Hallmark Health Medical Associates; Hallmark Health VNA and Hospice; and Lawrence Memorial/Regis College School of Nursing. For more information, visit

About Wellforce

Wellforce is the health system formed by Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health in 2014. On January 1, 2017, Hallmark Health will become the third founding member. Wellforce provides hospitals and physicians with a better option for collaboration. Our system brings together the strengths of academic medicine and community care in a model that respects both equally. Our independent-minded, value-driven members are dedicated to providing patients with the highest-level of care when and where they want it. Wellforce includes nearly 3,000 physicians, 12,000 employees, four community hospital campuses, one academic medical center, a children’s hospital and $1.7 billion in revenue.

Rob Brogna
Director, Media Relations, Hallmark Health System
Cell - 781-507-5551
Office - 781-338-7234
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Brooke Hynes 
Senior Vice President, Marketing, Wellforce
Cell - 617-515-2473
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