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Press Release

For Immediate Release
July 2, 2013

Communications Office

Governor Hassan Appoints Jim Varnum to Medicaid Expansion Commission
Former President of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital Brings Decades of Experience in New Hampshire's Healthcare System

CONCORD - Lauding his experience and knowledge of New Hampshire's healthcare system, Governor Maggie Hassan today appointed Jim Varnum, former president of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital, to serve on the newly established commission on Medicaid expansion.

The study commission, included in the bipartisan budget signed into law by Governor Hassan last week, must issue a report by October 15th in order to provide a timely path forward on Medicaid expansion. New Hampshire stands to lose approximately $1 million in federal funds per day for every day past January 1, 2014 that Medicaid expansion is delayed.

"Accepting the $2.5 billion in federal funds available for Medicaid expansion is critical for boosting our economy, transforming our healthcare system, and providing needed health coverage for tens of thousands of New Hampshire working families," Governor Hassan said. "Jim Varnum's deep understanding of New Hampshire's healthcare system and his decades of experience will be invaluable to the Medicaid expansion commission's work, and I thank him for agreeing to take on this important responsibility."

"I understand that strengthening New Hampshire's healthcare system requires collaboration and buy-in from many stakeholders, and I am honored that the Governor has appointed me to participate on the Medicaid expansion commission," Varnum said.

Varnum served as president of Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital from 1978 until his retirement in 2006. He also founded and served as president of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Alliance from 1983 to 2006. He is currently the President of the Board of Trustees of the Grafton County Senior Citizens Council, Lebanon, NH, as well as a Director of the Crotched Mountain Foundation. Varnum has also served on the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, including two years as its chair.

Varnum has served on the Boards of Directors of several New Hampshire, Vermont, and national healthcare organizations, including the American Hospital Association, Veterans Health Administration (VHA) and VHA New England, New Hampshire Hospital Association, National Quality Forum and the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association (BIA).

In 1992 he was the New Hampshire Business Leader of the Year and in 2006 received the American Hospital Association's Award of Honor. In 2012 he received the BIA Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2013 he received the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Lilla McLane Bradley Award for Improving Community Wellbeing in the Upper Valley.