Executive Leadership Team & Hospital Presidents

John M. Murphy, MD
Chief Executive Officer

Bio

Dr. Murphy has more than 40 years of experience in healthcare management and medicine. He joined Western Connecticut Health Network when it was formed. He was president and CEO of Danbury Hospital when it reached an affiliation agreement with New Milford Hospital in 2010 to create Western Connecticut Health Network. Prior to taking on an administrative role, Dr. Murphy practiced neurology in the Danbury, CT, area for 20 years. Dr. Murphy earned his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University in the Bronx, NY and his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ), now called Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ. He completed his residency in internal medicine and neurology at the UMDNJ Hospital system.

Robert Friedberg
President

Bio

Mr. Friedberg has more than 25 years of healthcare management experience, most recently serving as President and CEO of Health Quest. He was instrumental in reshaping the strategic direction of the Health Quest system through growth and a commitment to medical education. Over the past five years, he has been focused on redefining and improving quality and operations of the health system and leading the initiatives to redevelop the hospital and ambulatory network campuses, inclusive of the Vassar Brothers Medical Center patient pavilion and the Marist Health Quest School of Medicine. Prior to joining Health Quest in 2014, Mr. Friedberg was the executive vice president of operations for Cadence Health in Winfield, IL., and president of Delnor Hospital in Geneva, IL., then an affiliate of Cadence Health. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY, and a Master of Health Administration degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Robert Diamond
Chief Information Officer

Bio

Mr. Diamond directs all information technology strategy and operations, business intelligence/analytics and clinical engineering across the health system. He has more than 20 years of experience in the field of healthcare technology and health operational and revenue cycle leadership. He most recently served as senior vice president and chief information officer for Health Quest. Mr. Diamond was also the executive leader of biomedical services for Health Quest. Prior to joining Health Quest in 2007, Mr. Diamond was vice president of information systems and chief information officer for Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, NY. He earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from the State University of New York at New Paltz.

Kerry Eaton
Chief Operating Officer
Interim President, Vassar Brothers Medical Center

Bio

Ms. Eaton oversees the New York hospitals, Sharon Hospital, the skilled nursing facilities, and is responsible for hospital quality for the health system. She has more than 25 years of acute care leadership experience. She most recently served as chief operating officer for Health Quest and was responsible for all hospital operations in addition to the system-wide quality and strategic planning functions. In late 2018, Ms. Eaton was also named interim president of Vassar Brothers Medical Center. Prior to joining Health Quest in 2017, Ms. Eaton served as chief operating officer for the Gulf Coast market of Ascension Health, which is comprised of Sacred Heart Health System in Pensacola, FL, and Providence Health System in Mobile, AL. Ms. Eaton earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Central Connecticut State University in New Britain, CT, and her master’s degree in nursing administration from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT.

Cathy Frierson
Chief Human Resources Officer

Bio

Ms. Frierson works across all entities of the health system to develop a comprehensive approach to managing and engaging talent and to establish a common culture. She has more than 35 years of human resources and leadership experience. She most recently served as senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Western Connecticut Health Network, where she was responsible for the overall development, design and administration of the department. She joined Western Connecticut Health Network in 2016 from GE, where she was a senior human resources manager for GE Capital Americas, in Norwalk, CT. Ms. Frierson earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston College in Boston, MA, a master’s in clinical/medical social work from Boston College and an MBA from Columbia University.

Michael Holzhueter, JD
Chief Administrative and Chief Legal Officer

Bio

Mr. Holzhueter oversees legal services, risk management, insurance, facility support services, and procurement for the health system. He has more than 23 years of general healthcare and corporate legal management experience. He most recently served as chief administrative officer and chief legal officer for Health Quest. Before his appointment, Mr. Holzhueter was senior vice president and general counsel for Health Quest. Prior to joining Health Quest in 2014, Mr. Holzhueter served as vice president and general counsel for Cadence Health in Winfield, Ill., providing strategic, business and legal advice in transactions redefining the position of that health system in the highly competitive Chicago area market. He received his bachelor’s degree and law degree from Loyola University in Chicago, Ill.

Grace Linhard
Chief Development Officer

Bio

Ms. Linhard is accountable for the strategic engagement of the broader community in the philanthropic support of the health system. She has 26 years of fundraising experience. She most recently served as chief development officer for Western Connecticut Health Network, serving as the organization’s chief fundraiser, responsible for developing fundraising strategies key to the organization’s priorities and strategic goals. Prior to joining Western Connecticut Health Network in 2004, Ms. Linhard was the chief development officer of Waterbury Hospital in Waterbury, CT. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College in Easton, MA.

Wayne McNulty, JD
Chief Compliance Officer

Bio

Mr. McNulty is responsible for system-wide compliance and privacy and ensures the health system acts with integrity and is consistent with its values. He has more than 29 years of healthcare compliance and legal experience. He most recently served as senior vice president and chief compliance, audit and privacy officer for Western Connecticut Health Network. Prior to joining Western Connecticut Health Network in 2018, Mr. McNulty served as senior assistant vice president and chief corporate compliance officer at NYC Health + Hospitals in New York, NY. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Empire State College, a Master of Science in Health Services Administration degree from Iona College in New Rochelle, NY, and a law degree from Fordham University School of Law.

Steven Rosenberg
Chief Financial Officer

Bio

Mr. Rosenberg is accountable for setting the financial direction of the organization as well as tracking and influencing its operating performance. He has more than 37 years of experience in healthcare finance. He most recently served as chief financial officer for Western Connecticut Health Network, overseeing all financial operations for the system. Prior to joining Western Connecticut Health Network in 2010, Mr. Rosenberg was senior vice president and chief financial officer for Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, CT. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT, and an MBA from the University of New Haven in West Haven, CT.

Hospital Presidents

Sharon Adams
President, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital

Bio

Ms. Adams is accountable for all operations at Danbury and New Milford Hospitals as well as home care for the health system. She has more than 30 years of experience in nursing and operations management. She most recently served as chief operating officer and chief nursing officer for Western Connecticut Health Network, directing all hospital operations, including ancillary and support services, occupational health, quality, patient safety and service excellence. Prior to joining Western Connecticut Health Network in 2015, Ms. Adams was senior vice president, chief nursing officer and chief quality officer for Sisters of Providence Health System and its affiliate, Mercy Medical Center in Springfield, MA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Elms College in Chicopee, MA, a master’s degree in human resources and development from American International College in Springfield, MA, and a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from Bellevue University in Bellevue, NE.

Peter Cordeau
President, Norwalk Hospital

Bio

Mr. Cordeau administers all operations at Norwalk Hospital, bringing more than 32 years of nursing and management experience to the position. Before his appointment to Norwalk Hospital in 2019, Mr. Cordeau served as president of Sharon Hospital in Sharon, CT. He was previously the chief nursing officer and chief executive officer of Sharon Hospital. Mr. Cordeau spent more than 17 years at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, CT, in a variety of nursing leadership positions. He earned his bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. and an MBA from the University of Hartford.

Denise George
President, Northern Dutchess Hospital
Interim President, Sharon Hospital

Bio

Ms. George is responsible for all operations at Northern Dutchess Hospital and Sharon Hospital. She joined Northern Dutchess Hospital in 1999 and has more than 20 years of healthcare management experience. Under her leadership as president, Northern Dutchess Hospital opened a transformational $47 million patient pavilion in 2016 and completed a $1.7 million expansion of the Emergency Department. In 2019, she was named interim president of Sharon Hospital in Sharon, Conn. She also served as senior vice president of Health Quest. Ms. George began her career at Northern Dutchess Hospital as vice president of clinical services and chief nursing officer. Prior to joining Northern Dutchess Hospital, Ms. George was the Hudson Valley region’s operations and quality manager at Kaiser Permanente, a large U.S. healthcare system. Ms. George earned her bachelor’s degree from Hunter College in Manhattan, NY, and her Master of Public Administration from New York University.

Peter Kelly
President, Putnam Hospital Center

Bio

Mr. Kelly directs all operations at Putnam Hospital Center. Under his leadership as president, Putnam Hospital Center completed a $9 million expansion of the Emergency Department. He has more than 33 years of experience in healthcare. Before joining Putnam Hospital Center in 2016, Mr. Kelly served as senior adviser of external affairs for CarePoint Health in Hudson County, NJ. Mr. Kelly also served as chief operating officer of Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, NY and as president and chief executive officer for Continuum Health Partners, Inc., where he played a key role in the merger of Beth Israel Medical Center, St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, Long Island College Hospital and New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. He earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, NY, and a Master of Healthcare Administration degree from Long Island University in Brookville, NY.