COBTH Mission

The Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, Inc.(COBTH) exists to maximize the Boston-area teaching hospitals' visibility on the issues that are fundamental to their missions of teaching, research and clinical care. COBTH educates opinion leaders at all levels about the contributions of its members to the area's health and economy. In coalition with business organizations, COBTH advocates for policies favorable to academic medicine and the economy of the Commonwealth. COBTH is committed to addressing the public health needs of the City of Boston through cooperative efforts with other providers and agencies.  

Leadership and Staff

John Fernandez - Chair - President, Massachusetts Eye and Ear

John Fernandez was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and of its parent company, Foundation of the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Inc., on January 1, 2007.

John arrived at Mass. Eye and Ear with an impressive record of leadership success at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), serving as Vice President of Clinical Service for his last eight years there. During his 14-year tenure at BWH, he worked with chiefs of several services, enabling the hospital’s surgical specialties, radiology and pathology departments to thrive in their clinical and academic missions. John’s accomplishments are many: he has overseen major construction projects, improved services and operations, and achieved aggressive volume and financial goals Since he took the helm at the Mass. Eye and Ear, John has been focusing the leadership on a new phase of efforts to ensure and enhance its reputation as one of the finest specialty hospitals in the world. During his tenure Mass. Eye and Ear has launched a 10-year strategic plan; opened a new site in East Bridgewater; formed new clinical alliances and collaborations with Mass General, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital and Braintree Rehab; and grown patient volume and research revenue.

A graduate of the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, Fernandez received his master’s degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania. He serves as is the Chairman of the Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals and is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Healthcare Roundtable. In addition, he is President-Elect of the American Association of Eye and Ear Hospitals and a member of the Massachusetts Hospital Association's Board of Trustees. (source)

Patricia (Tish) McMullin, JD - Executive Director

Ms. McMullin became Executive Director of COBTH in September 2019. Immediately prior to leading COBTH Ms. McMullin served as Special Counsel and Director of Government Affairs for Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.   In that role, Ms. McMullin led the growing BIDMC system’s external relations with local, state and federal governments, and provided strategic guidance and legal counsel for a large, Harvard-affiliated academic medical center and its affiliated community hospitals.

Before joining BIDMC in July 2007, Ms. McMullin led Government Affairs offices for the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and the Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, and began her career in health care as a Government Relations Associate at Partners Healthcare.

Prior to her career in health care, Ms. McMullin practiced law in the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee from 1996 to 2000, where she served as Assistant General Counsel.  Ms. McMullin also served as a law clerk to the justices of the Superior Court.

Prior to her legal career, Ms. McMullin was active in public service and political work, and began her career with internships in the Boston City Council and the Executive Office of Governor Michael S. Dukakis. Ms. McMullin later served as Director of Correspondence for the Dukakis presidential campaign and consulted on several Presidential campaigns thereafter. 

Ms. McMullin attended the University of Massachusetts at Boston with a Chancellor’s Scholarship for Excellence and earned her law degree from New England Law in 1995, Magna Cum Laude.

Ms. McMullin is a member of the Standing Committee on Public Affairs of the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) and the Government Relations Steering Committee for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC).  Ms. McMullin currently serves as Co-Chair of the Health Care Committee of the New England Council (NEC) and as Co-Chair of the Health Care and Life Sciences Leadership Council for the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.  Ms. McMullin also serves on the Program Committee of the Massachusetts Taxpayer’s Foundation (MTF) and the Health Care Committee of Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM).

Ms. McMullin is a resident of the City of Boston and lives in Dorchester. 

Anna Esten - Government and Community Affairs Specialist

Anna Esten joined COBTH as Government and Community Affairs Specialist in December 2019. Prior to this role, she served as the Senior Health Policy Advisor for U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, acting as the Senator’s primary advisor on a wide range of health care issues. She joined the Senator’s office in 2014 as a Legislative Correspondent before later becoming a Legislative Assistant. During her time Senator Whitehouse, Anna supported the Senator’s health care work as a member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and later as a member of the Senate Committee on Finance. Anna participated in the development of a number of significant pieces of legislation, including the 21st Century Cures Act and the SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act. Prior to joining the Senate, Anna worked in the office of former Congresswoman Allyson Y. Schwartz. She received her B.A. in Political Science from Middlebury College.

Taylor-Marie Vasil - COBTH HCC Intern, 2020

Taylor-Marie Vasil joined COBTH as a summer intern in June 2020. She was selected to participate in the internship through the Health Career Connection development program and COBTH is honored to have Taylor-Marie working with us. Taylor-Marie is currently a senior at Brown University who is majoring in public health and planning on graduating in May 2021. With prior experience working and volunteering with the Brown School of Public Health Center for Gerontology and Sturdy Memorial Hospital, Taylor-Marie has many interests in the public health and clinical fields. She hopes to expand these interests during the summer with COBTH.