CMC Statement on Recent Media Coverage

Doctors, leaders respond to Boston Globe Spotlight story

Published 9/9/2022

Over the last two days, the Boston Globe published a story that is highly critical of CMC and one of our former cardiac surgeons, Dr. Yvon Baribeau, who retired in 2019. The story paints a picture of a hospital that is unrecognizable from the place we all know, and is based on allegations that we strongly refute.    

The Boston Globe Spotlight story is misleading, one-sided and promotes a narrative that is totally contrary to our deeply held values and commitment to quality. And it overlooks the fact that thousands of people are only alive today because Dr. Baribeau operated on them. 

Many of the allegations that appear in the story were investigated over the course of several years by state and federal authorities and regulators, and were dismissed. These agencies had legal and complete access to detailed patient information that CMC could not share with the Globe. The Globe was aware CMC could not acknowledge specific patient or family comments because of federal and state privacy laws, nor would we, out of respect for patients and families. 

Over the last several months, CMC provided the Globe with information that countered their sources and narratives, including on the record interviews with Dr. Baribeau’s colleagues and peers in cardiac surgery, and detailed written response:

Most of that information did not appear in the story. Many colleagues with views contrary to the Globe’s narrative were simply ignored, or never spoken to. This includes people with first hand and direct knowledge of Dr. Baribeau who would have provided a very different perspective. 

We also directed them to our consistently high quality and safety ratings from gold-standard industry organizations such as the Society for Thoracic Surgeons and Northern New England Cardiovascular Study Group. We showed them conclusive data that underscore the quality, safety and integrity of our programs, and how manipulation of mortality simply did not occur.

We walked them through the multiple ways that CMC addresses concerns and complaints through internal and external review, including oversight from CMC’s Board of Trustees, and federal and state regulators and authorities.  We described the Medical Executive Committee’s role in addressing physician quality and performance. Allegations that CMC would have ignored concerns raised about Dr. Baribeau or any physician simply don’t square with the facts, our internal review processes or culture. 

At CMC, patient care always comes first – it’s what you all do every day. Your dedication to excellence and providing the highest-quality care is what makes CMC great. Our community of doctors, nurses and staff celebrate healthy patient outcomes, and we grieve with families over the loss of a loved one. Most of all, we are unwavering in our dedication to our patients, employees, community. 

We are and always have been committed to continuous self-improvement, and we take pride in our promotion of a just culture, coupled with rigorous systems of accountability and medical oversight. We take ownership when mistakes are made and work to make them right. 

CMC is an organization that lives by our values of quality, respect, integrity, commitment and compassion.  We stand by our patients and their families. And we will continue to stand with you, in standing up for the hospital we know and love.

Alex Walker
President & CEO
Catholic Medical Center 

Timothy Riley
Catholic Medical Center Board of Trustees 

Louis Fink, MD, FACC
Executive Medical Director
New England Heart & Vascular Institute

Patricia Furey, MD, FACS, MBA
Chief of Vascular Surgery & CMC Medical Staff President 
New England Heart & Vascular Institute 

Benjamin Westbrook, MD, FACS
New England Heart & Vascular Institute

David Caparrelli, MD, FACS
New England Heart & Vascular Institute