As a respected community leader, Bruce Nardella brings a deep understanding of the region and of the challenges and opportunities ahead for our hospitals. In addition to supporting Beverly and Addison Gilbert for nearly three decades, he has been an active board member since 2016, currently serving as Chair of the Board and Co-chair of the Philanthropy Committee. Professionally, Bruce dedicated himself to making a difference in the lives of at-risk youth and people living with disabilities. After working at the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services, he spent 25 years at the MENTOR Network (now Sevita), a leading provider of home and community-based specialty health care, eventually becoming Chief Executive Officer.
We sat down with Bruce to hear about his background, his long-running support, and his thoughts on the future of healthcare in the greater North Shore community.
How did you first become involved with Beverly and Addison Gilbert Hospitals?
Both hospitals are an important part of my family. My mother grew up in Gloucester and worked at Beverly Hospital, where I was born—but the story begins before that. My paternal great grandmother, who spoke only Italian, was a patient there. She came to like her nurse, who was my mother. My great grandmother somehow made sure her grandson, my father, came to visit during my mother’s shift. The rest is history.
What elements of your background have prepared you for your new role as chair?
I have always been driven to care for vulnerable populations, which aligns with our hospitals’ mission. I have also learned how vital it is to invest in staff over the long term to strengthen and grow organizations. Additionally, my lifetime in the community has provided me with a unique appreciation for our area.
What are the board’s strategic goals and what role does philanthropy play in that journey?
We work closely with hospital leadership. Together we are focused on reinvesting in our amazing clinical staff and in our facilities in order to enhance patient care, as well as attract and retain the best talent. Investing in our team and our facilities is key to remaining the go-to destination for healthcare on the North Shore and Cape Ann.
Personally, I am thrilled to be supportive of the Emergency Department (ED) at Beverly Hospital. EDs offer a unique type of care and are widely accessible; we are proud to offer emergency care to anyone who needs it. This effort is a monumental commitment by the hospital and something we can all proudly support.
Can you speak to the importance of community hospitals?
As a city councilor in Beverly, I gained an appreciation for the importance of financially and operationally healthy hospitals that are positioned to provide equitable access to care. And that are able to maintain their facilities and to offer significant employment opportunities locally.
Community hospitals like ours are vital because they bring access to excellent care closer to our patients. As members of the Beth Israel Lahey Health system, our hospitals have now added strength and resources. With the steadfast support of philanthropy, they can invest to meet the needs of today and tomorrow. It’s a privilege to be in this role.