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Moen Named President and CEO of SPHS
SPRINGFIELD — Daniel P. Moen, president and CEO of Heywood Hospital in Gardner, Mass., has been named the new president and CEO of the Sisters of Providence Health System (SPHS). Moen, who will assume his new position in January 2011, will succeed Dr. William Bithoney, who has been serving in an interim capacity since the prior CEO, Vincent McCorkle, left the organization in June 2010. Moen was selected after a nationwide search by the Sisters of Providence Health System’s board of trustees. “Daniel Moen is a well-respected, pragmatic health care leader with many years of experience managing complex hospital operations,” said Dr. David Chadbourne, board chair of SPHS. “He is an excellent choice to lead the Sisters of Providence Health System. We are confident his talents will not only help sustain our rich legacy of providing high-quality and compassionate care, but will also help us reach new levels of service to our community.” Moen brings more than 28 years of senior leadership experience in health care in the state of Massachusetts; for 23 of these years he has served as a CEO. Since 1990, he has served as president and CEO of Heywood Hospital, a 125-bed, full-service community hospital based in Gardner. Under Moen’s leadership, the hospital has added key inpatient and outpatient services, initiated a major capital-expansion project, and built outstanding relations with its community. Prior to joining Heywood Hospital in 1990, Moen served for 10 years in progressively responsible leadership positions with Holden Hospital in Holden, Mass., including two years as its president and CEO. “We are pleased to have Daniel Moen join the Sisters of Providence Health System,” said Judith M. Persichilli, president and CEO of Catholic Health East, of which SPHS is a member. “He has extensive experience in the Massachusetts health care environment, an impressive track record of high performance in challenging times, and a strong commitment to the mission and core values of the Sisters of Providence Health System and Catholic Health East. We look forward to Dan’s contributions; we are convinced that he will prove to be an important asset to our entire health care ministry.” Moen earned a master’s degree in health administration from Clark University and UMass Medical School, a bachelor’s degree in management from Worcester State College, and an associate’s degree in radiologic technology from Quinsigamond Community College, all in Worcester. He is also a past chair (2006-07) of the Mass. Hospital Assoc., helping to lead that organization in the midst of groundbreaking health care reform legislation. “I am honored to be selected for this important role,” said Moen. “It will be a privilege to serve the Sisters of Providence Health System, Catholic Health East, and the Western Mass. community.”
AIM Business Confidence Index Surges in October
BOSTON — The Associated Industries of Massachusetts Business Confidence Index shot up 7.7 points in October to 55.3, its highest level since August 2008. Raymond G. Torto, Global Chief Economist at CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. and chair of AIM’s Board of Economic Advisors (BEA), noted the monthly gain was “unprecedented” in the 19-year history of the index, adding, however, that “we must regard it cautiously.” Nevertheless, he noted, there are reasons to take the improvement in employer sentiment seriously. Torto said the October result in effect returns the state, after a three-month gap, to the upward trend of the first half of the year, and is based to a considerable extent on a less negative, and probably more realistic, assessment of prevailing conditions in the national economy. He added that Massachusetts employers remain predominantly positive about conditions for their own operations, and they now expect significant improvement in the business climate generally over the next six months. Even in that timeframe, however, Torto foresees conditions approaching neutral, rather than rapid, expansion. The AIM index was up 12 points from its level of October 2009, and 13.9 over two years. It reached its historic low at 33.3 in February 2009, and its all-time high of 68.5 on two occasions in 1997 and ’98. Among the component sub-indices, the U.S. Index of national conditions led October’s rise with a gain of 12.2 points to 48.7, while the Massachusetts Index of conditions within the Commonwealth added 7.7 to 49.4. The Current Index, assessing overall conditions at the time of the survey, was up 7.1 points in October to 53.2, and the Future Index of prospects for six months ahead gained 8.5 to 57.0, while the Future Index edged up three-tenths to 48.4. In the past year, the Current Index has picked up 10.5 points, while the Future Index has gained 2.5. The sub-indices relating to respondents’ own operations all rose in October. The broadest of them, the Company Index, was up 5.8 points, and the Sales Index was up 5.5, both at 58.9, while the Employment Index added 2.3 to 53.7. Confidence levels moved up together among employers in Greater Boston (+7.6 to 54.4) and those elsewhere in the state (+7.6 to 56.7). The monthly Business Confidence Index, initiated by AIM’s Board of Economic Advisors in July 1991, is based on a survey of AIM member-companies across the state, asking questions about current and prospective business conditions in Massachusetts and the nation, as well as for respondents’ own operations. On the Index’s 100-point scale, a reading above 50 indicates that the state’s employer community is predominantly optimistic, while a reading below 50 points to a negative assessment of business conditions. A number of component sub-indices are derived by analyzing responses to selected questions or those of particular groups of respondents.

Pilot Energy-saving Program Underway
SPRINGFIELD — Western Mass Saves, a pilot energy-efficiency program, was recently launched by Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO). The program helps customers manage their electric use and rewards energy savings with points that can be redeemed at national and local merchants. Under Western Mass Saves, selected customers receive printed reports in the mail that provide personalized recommendations to reduce and track their home-energy use. The report also shows customers how their energy use compares to the average use in their community. While selected customers will receive printed reports, all customers are eligible to participate through the Web site, www.westernmasssaves.com. Under the one-year pilot program, customers can log into the Web site for personalized online electric-bill savings advice. Customers can also review more than 250 ways to reduce their energy consumption, design an individualized energy-savings plan, track the results, and earn rewards. The program is a partnership among WMECO, Efficiency 2.0, RecycleBank, and SmartPower.

Art & Soles Gallery Open
to the Public
SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield Business Improvement District announced that the popular six-foot sneaker sculptures known as Art & Soles have moved indoors for the holidays. The 20 painted sneakers will be prominently displayed in the Art & Soles Gallery, located at 1391 Main St., at the corner of Main and Harrison Avenue. The space is being donated by owner Glenn Edwards. The sneakers will be auctioned off at a later date. The gallery will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Thursdays until 8 p.m.), and also on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to the 20 sneakers, artists will have other merchandise available. Art & Soles is a public art project created by a team of volunteers, including the Greater Springfield-UMass Amherst Partnership, TSM Design, and the Springfield Business Improvement District.

Business Hiring Still Lackluster
WASHINGTON — In the week ending Nov. 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 435,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 459,000. The four-week moving average was 446,500, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 456,500. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.4% for the week ending Oct. 30, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s revised rate of 3.5%. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Oct. 30 was 4,301,000, a decrease of 86,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 4,387,000. The four-week moving average was 4,388,250, a decrease of 35,750 from the preceding week’s revised average of 4,424,000. The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 449,905 in the week ending Nov. 6, an increase of 28,808 from the previous week. There were 531,743 initial claims in the comparable week in 2009. The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.0% during the week ending Oct. 30, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,745,901, a decrease of 13,638 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 3.8%, and the volume was 4,961,610. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Oct. 23 was 8,624,679.

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