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Who We Are

Massachusetts is world-renowned for the excellence of its health care, teaching, and research institutions, and the Boston teaching hospitals are the cornerstone of that reputation.  Patients come from around the corner, across the country as well as from other nations seeking the excellent care and technology available at the state’s teaching hospitals. Medical students, residents, and fellows are eager to be trained at our universities and teaching hospitals, and many of these Massachusetts-trained health professionals become leaders in health care and research at hospitals, research institutions, and private industry throughout the world.  The Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals (COBTH) is a coalition of twelve Boston-area teaching hospitals. Despite today's highly competitive health care environment and the great diversity of these institutions, the COBTH member hospitals recognize the importance of collaborating in a number of important areas, including:

  • Ensuring quality care;

  • Advocating for policies that advance the missions of medical education, research and provision of specialized services;

  • Working with local communities to protect the public health and address unmet social and healthcare needs; and

  • Partnering with the business community to protect and enhance the region's economic strength.

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.

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. Contact Tish

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 with 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. She is a City of Boston resident and lives in Jamaica Plain. Contact Anna.


Patrick Kiley - Emergency Management Coordinator

Patrick Kiley joined COBTH as the Emergency Management Coordinator in September 2020. Prior to this role, he served as the Manager of Regulatory Compliance for Lahey Hospital & Medical Center, working closely with multiple regulatory agencies on the Local, State, and Federal Level, including the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, The Joint Commission, Massachusetts Department of Public Health, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, among others. Patrick worked as an Assistant Safety Officer in the Safety Office at Lahey Hospital and Medical Center prior to moving to regulatory compliance, working to ensure life safety and emergency management needs were met for the hospital. Patrick has a great deal of experience in emergency preparedness and response, working as a Firefighter, EMT, and Dispatcher, and Emergency Management Specialist for multiple Local, State, and Private Sector Emergency Service providers. Patrick received his B.S. in Public Health from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and is a FEMA Certified Professional Continuity Practitioner. Contact Patrick

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