Community Leaders Honor Ingala at GLFHC Retirement Dinner

Robert J. Ingala, far right, receives honors from, left to right, former state Rep. David M. Torrisi, Sen. Barbara L’Italien and Jim Moriarty, chairman of GLFHC Business Leaders Network.

Robert J. Ingala, who began his Merrimack Valley career at the former Hale Hospital in Haverhill, was honored Thursday night for his 15 years of service to Greater Lawrence Family Health Center (GLFHC).

Ingala formally retires next month as president and chief executive officer of the non-profit primary medical care group. He said he enjoyed his work.

“When you’re doing something you love, it goes by so fast. Fifteen years just kind of flew by,” Ingala told employees and community leaders at a dinner at Andover Country Club.

Ingala said he learned long ago while serving as vice president of Franciscan Children’s (Kennedy Memorial) Hospital that services must be delivered while keeping an eye on budgets. “There is a balance between mission and margin…you have to balance that every day to make sure you that you have the resources so that you can provide services and care to the patients that you serve.”

Sen. Barbara L’Italien was joined by former state Rep. David M. Torrisi in presenting Ingala with a senate citation. Dr. James W. Hunt Jr., president and chief executive officer of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, and Charles Zanazzi, chairman of GLFHC’s board of directors, also made presentations. Jim Moriarty, chairman of GLFHC Business Leaders Network, served as master of ceremonies.

Ingala served as chief executive officer of Hale Hospital from January, 1997, to January, 2001. Previously, he was the hospital's chief financial officer, hired in 1992.

Next month, John M. Silva, a native of Hull with 40 years of experience in healthcare and community health centers, will succeed Ingala. GLFHC began in Lawrence, expanded to Methuen and has discussed opening a Haverhill center.

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