News Releases


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
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Office - 781-338-7234
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Brooke Hynes 
Senior Vice President, Marketing, Wellforce
Cell - 617-515-2473
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Eugenia Blank, MD, and David Miller, MD, board-certified neurologists, have joined Hallmark Health Medical Associates and the neurology services at Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital.  

Dr. Blank is a well-known neurologist in the region, having spent the past eight years in private practice in Melrose.  She received her medical degree with honors from Russian State Medical University in Moscow, and completed her residency training in neurology at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Miller is fellowship-trained in neurophysiology from the University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore, MD; with particular expertise in epilepsy. His other clinical interests include movement disorders and the management and treatment of migraines. He received his medical degree from State University of New York – Upstate Medical University and his neurology residency at Rhode Island Hospital/Brown University.

For more information or to make an appointment at either location, please call 781-213-5201.


Radiation oncologist Phillip Gray, MD, has joined Hallmark Health and will practice at the Center for Radiation Oncology in Stoneham, MA. 

Dr. Gray was most recently a member of the Department of Radiation Oncology at Mass General Hospital. He is an expert in radiation oncology, having trained at Mass General Hospital/Harvard Radiation Oncology Program with rotations at MGH, Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and others.

He received his medical degree from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and holds a certificate in clinical effectiveness from Harvard School of Public Health. He is actively involved in cancer research and has been awarded numerous honors over the years. He is a sought-after presenter nationally and internationally on a range of topics including pancreatic, bladder and prostate cancer therapies.

The Center for Radiation Oncology, conveniently located in Stoneham, is a service of Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford. It offers the latest in radiation therapies for the treatment of cancer through the care of an expert multi-disciplinary team comprised of oncologists, radiologists, physicists, nurses, radiation therapists and dosimetrists. The center is accredited by the American College of Radiology, representing the highest level of quality and patient safety.

For more information or referrals, please call the Center for Radiation Oncology at 781-279-0655.


Medford, MA - June 30, 2016 – Hallmark Health, the parent company of Melrose-Wakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford, today announced that its board of trustees unanimously approved a letter of intent to join Wellforce, the parent company of Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health (including Lowell General Hospital). 

The vote comes after an extensive review process that considered numerous proposals from both local and national providers.

“Hallmark Health has a great future in partnering with an organization that shares our vision of providing unparalleled access to high quality, comprehensive, low-cost care, here in our communities. In Wellforce, we see that future. We are excited to enter into this exclusive agreement,” said Alan Macdonald, president and chief executive officer, Hallmark Health.

“We are fortunate to have had a great number of thoughtful proposals to consider,” adds Macdonald, “but Wellforce clearly stood out as an organization that we can see ourselves aligning with and positioning us for future growth. They bring together thriving community hospitals, a renowned academic medical center and strong physician networks that are leaders in population health management. ”

“Wellforce and its hospitals and physicians have an exceptional clinical reputation and we are excited to work together for the health of our patients and our communities,” said Laurence Conway, MD, president of the Hallmark Health medical staff and member of the Board’s affiliation work group.

Hallmark Health and Wellforce will now enter into an exclusive due diligence process. Over the next few months, the groups will finalize the terms under which Hallmark Health will join the Wellforce system and work with the appropriate regulatory agencies to secure the necessary approvals.

“We are extremely pleased to be selected by Hallmark Health,” said Norm Deschene, CEO of Wellforce. “Hallmark Health and Wellforce share a commitment to first and foremost doing what is right for our local communities, patients and physicians. We look forward to forging a partnership that benefits the Hallmark Health communities for decades to come.”

“Tufts Medical Center and Tufts University have a special affinity for the communities surrounding Hallmark Health. Our partnership with Lowell General through Wellforce has proven that academic medicine doesn’t have to stay sheltered in Boston but can and should come out to the community,” said Michael Wagner, MD, president and CEO of Tufts Medical Center. ”


About Wellforce

Wellforce is the health system formed by Tufts Medical Center and Circle Health in 2014. Wellforce was created to provide Massachusetts hospitals and physicians with a new option for collaboration. Wellforce brings together the strengths of academic medicine and community care in a model that respects both equally. Wellforce is the market’s high quality, lower cost system. Wellforce focuses on care integration, population health management, patient access and operational performance so that our members can do what they do best – care for patients. Wellforce includes 2,500 physicians, 2 community hospital campuses, an academic medical center and a children’s hospital. Wellforce represents $1.36 billion in revenue and 9,000 employees.

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More than 200 Hallmark Health System supporters recently participated in this year’s Stride for Healthy Communities, raising more than $34,000 for community health programs such as bariatric support programs, cancer care, cardiology and the North Suburban Child and Family Resource Network.

The annual fundraising walk around Wakefield’s Lake Quannapowitt featured a 5K road race. Top runners in the men’s and women’s races included husband/wife Jon and Beth Korhonen of Somerville, with winning times of 16:03 and 20:09.

More than 40 Hallmark Health employees successfully finished the 5K race as part of a couch-to-5K® program aimed at helping employees start an exercise program and reach new fitness goals. The program was led by volunteer coaches, fellow employees with running experience, who conducted training sessions and mentored new runners.

Hallmark Health would like to thank the sponsors of the 2016 Stride for Healthy Communities:

Jennifer S. Wu, MD; Hallmark Health Medical Staff; Wholefoods Melrose & Woburn; Eastern Bank; Action Ambulance; Armstrong Ambulance; Cataldo Ambulance; Kaufman Hall; New England Coffee; Wayne Wivell, MD; Hallmark Health Imaging; HDR; Healthgrades; Melrose Cooperative Bank; Metro North YMCA; Optum; Promotional Solutions

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