Silva, Who is Bringing Community Health Center to Haverhill, Retires Next Spring

Greater Lawrence Family Health Center President and CEO John M. Silva. (Courtesy photograph.)

John M. Silva, president and CEO of Greater Lawrence Family Health Center since February 2016, is retiring next spring.

Silva, who retires effective June 30, guided the organization through a period of expansion including increasing overall patient access, creation of the Merrimack Valley Accountable Care Organization in collaboration with Lawrence General Hospital, opening new health center locations in Methuen and Haverhill, expanding the Lawrence Family Medicine Residency and increasing both behavioral health and substance abuse services.

“This has been a very difficult decision for my wife and I,” Silva said. “I love this health center and the Lawrence community and I am so proud of the work this organization does each day for our patients. After 41 years in this profession it is time to move on to the next phase of my life.”

Silva’s career in the community health center movement began with his appointment as the executive director of the Hull Medical Center in Hull in 1979. Silva has led community health centers in several states as well as serving as the president of State Primary Care Associations in Missouri and Oklahoma. He also was elected president of the National Association of Community Health Centers in 1992. During his term as president, he was appointed to First Lady Hillary Clinton’s Universal Health Care Task Force in 1993 representing the nation’s Community Health Centers.

Silva is credited with revitalizing troubled community health centers, expanding services, delivery locations and patient visits. He also helped develop the first community health center-based Family Practice Residency Program and the first community-based Medicaid Managed Care Organization in St Louis. Previously, Silva served as president and CEO of Morton Comprehensive Health Services in Tulsa, Okla.

With the arrival of the OVID-19 pandemic, Silva has guided GLFHC during the most challenging time in its 40-year history. The health center has continued to serve its patients and community despite the many risks, challenges and obstacles it continues to face.

GLFHC Board Chair Charlie Zanazzi said, “On behalf of the board I wish to congratulate John on his retirement announcement.  His leadership over the last several years has been invaluable helping the organization navigate a changing healthcare landscape and the COVID-19 crisis as an independent patient-centric organization serving the greater Merrimack Valley community admirably. We wish him all the best. Over the next several months we look forward to working under John’s leadership to execute a national search for a leader best suited to continue the strong work of the Health Center.”

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