COBTH Mission

The Conference of Boston Teaching Hospitals, Inc.(COBTH) exists to maximize the Boston-area teaching hospitals' visibility on the issues that are fundamental to their missions of teaching, research and clinical care. COBTH educates opinion leaders at all levels about the contributions of its members to the area's health and economy. In coalition with business organizations, COBTH advocates for policies favorable to academic medicine and the economy of the Commonwealth. COBTH is committed to addressing the public health needs of the City of Boston through cooperative efforts with other providers and agencies.  

Leadership and Staff

John Fernandez - Chair - President and CEO, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infiirmary

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. (source)

John Erwin - Executive Director

Prior to becoming Executive Director of COBTH in October of 2005, John held several progressively responsible positions during his seven years at Tufts Health Plan, ultimately as Director of Government Affairs.  Prior to Tufts Health Plan, John held several positions in the public sector including Boston City Council Staff Director, overseeing financial and research staff assigned to Council Committees and Assistant Director of the State Council on Vocational Education under Governor Michael Dukakis.John serves on the Health Policy Commission Advisory Council and has served on Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley’s Advisory Task Force on Community Benefits and is immediate past Chair of the Association of American Medical College’s Government Relations Steering Committee.   John received his B.S. from the University of Massachusetts and his M.B.A. with a concentration in non-profit management from Boston University. contact

Tricia Dougherty, MPH – Government Affairs Specialist

Tricia is the newest member of the COBTH team, joining us as of May 2017. She recently graduated from Boston University School of Public Health with her MPH in Maternal and Child Health policy. She comes to us having previously worked at one our member hospitals for over four years. She has experience in a wide array of hospital administration and advocacy work, ranging from roles as an administrative assistant, to a credentialing specialist, and to a government affairs intern.  She received her BS in Nutrition with a concentration in Public Health from the University of New Hampshire. contact

Liam Gale - Emergency Management Coordinator

Liam Gale serves as the Emergency Management Coordinator for COBTH teaching hospitals in the Greater Boston area. Prior to joining COBTH, Mr. Gale worked as a program coordinator at Boston Children's Hospital and prior to that was an intern in the Emergency Management Department.  Liam received his Bachelor of Arts in Homeland Security from American Military University and is finishing his Master of Arts in Security Studies-Homeland Defense at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell.  Liam has been serving in the United States Air Force since 2011 and was active duty for 5 years as an enlisted aviator.  In 2016 he transitioned into the Air Force Reserves as an Emergency Management Specialist. contact