Maria Ryan, PhD, CEO of Cottage Hospital

Maria Ryan, PhD, is known for her high-integrity, energetic leadership, and the ability to envision and create successful outcomes in complex situations. Dr. Ryan has diverse healthcare and functional expertise, with a tenacious commitment to driving results and motivating staff to peak performance. She achieved a doctorate in healthcare administration and holds a master’s degree in the science of nursing. Dr. Ryan is board certified as a Family Nurse Practitioner with a specialty in Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Ryan has a distinguished career in for-profit, non-profit, tertiary care and, most recently, a critical access hospital. She has been the driving force behind Cottage Hospital’s many accomplishments such as being honored by the Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center for taking a leadership role in a collaborative outreach program centered on cancer prevention and early detection. Cottage Hospital has received national awards such as a 2013 HealthStrong Award for Excellence in Efficiency, a 2014 HealthStrong Top 100 Critical Access Hospital by iVantage Health Analytics, and a Top 20 Best Practices in Quality designation by the National Rural Health Association. With Dr. Ryan’s leadership, Cottage Hospital was also the only hospital in New Hampshire, and one of eight in the country, to successfully attest to Meaningful Use Stage 2 in the first qualifying period. Additionally, Cottage Hospital was the recipient of the 2015 Business of the Year Award given by the Cohase Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Ryan has been recognized on a national level as well. She was selected in Becker’s Hospital Review’s list of “Top 50 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know” in the United States for four years, 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2018, as well as one of the “Top 60 Rural Hospital CEO’s to Know” in 2017. Amongst all hospitals, regardless of size, Dr. Ryan was identified again by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of “300 Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know” and most recently, named one of “183 Nonprofit Hospital and Health System CEO’s to Know 2017”. She was selected as one of NH Business Review’s Outstanding Women in Business 2017. Dr. Ryan is passionate about creating value for the consumer and is a fierce defender of patient rights. Her secrets to success are simple: be transparent and passionate, have enthusiasm and insight, listen well and be visible.

Over the last several years Dr. Ryan has been asked to speak at the following various healthcare conferences: Dartmouth-Hitchcock Perioperative Conference, Lateral Violence Amongst Nurses, 2009; New England Alliance for Health , Five Pillars to Success, 2011; Hospital Outpatient Payment Panel with Senator Shaheen, 2014; Becker’s Hospital Review, Key Steps to Improve and Measure Clinical Outcomes, 2014; The Nashville Experience, Trends and the Future of Specialized Healthcare, 2015; Becker’s Hospital Review CEO & CFO/CIO Roundtable, Improving EMR Usefulness, 2015; Becker’s Hospital Review CEO & CFO Roundtable, Key Thoughts on How Small and Midsize Hospitals Can Deliver Great Quality and Thrive, 2016; and Becker’s Hospital Review 8th Annual Meeting panels Where Our Independent Hospital Needs to Be in Five Years and Key Strategies and Issues for Rural Hospitals, 2017; St. Anselm College Women in Healthcare panel, 2017; McClane Middleton’s What’s Her Story, 2017; Lisbon Regional High School National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, 2017; AHA Regional Policy Board Meeting, Washington, DC, 2017; Granite State College Beyond Gender: Essential Leadership Qualities Lecture, 2017; and Becker’s Hospital Review 6th Annual CEO/CFO Roundtable, How Small and Midsize Hospitals Can Thrive and Deliver Great Quality, 2017.

Dr. Ryan currently serves as Chair of the New Hampshire Rural Health Coalition, which she has been a member of since 2010. She is currently a Board of Trustee member for the New Hampshire Hospital Association (Term 1: 9/2016 – 9/2018), New Hampshire Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund (Term 1: 10/2013 – 10/2016, Term 2: 10/2016 – 10/2019), the Foundation for Healthy Communities (Term 1: 1/2013 – 1/2016, Term 2: 1/2016 – 1/2019), the New Hampshire Musculoskeletal Institute (Term 1: 6/2014 – 5/2017, Term 2: 6/2017 – 5/2020), Catholic Charities (Term 1: 1/2018 – 12/2021) and the New Hampshire Rural ACO (2015-present). She is also a delegate for the Section for Small or Rural Hospitals and member of the Regional Policy Board of the American Hospital Association (Term 1: 1/2017 – 12/2019). Dr. Ryan’s past Board membership includes the North Country Health Consortium (Term 1: 12/2012 – 1/2016).

Featured Articles:

  • “Women at the Top – The Top 50 Women-Led Nonprofits in NH”, Business NH Magazine, Erika Cohen, October 2013.
  • “Woodsville’s Cottage Hospital in forefront of electronic health record systems”, New Hampshire Union Leader, John Koziol, April, 2014.
  • Sullivan, Adam (reporter). (2014, April 1: 6:20PM EST). NH hospital leads the nation in going electronic, (television newscast). Burlington, VT: WCAX – Channel 3.
  • “Small hospital books big ROI”, Healthcare IT News, Bernie Monegain, May, 2014.
  • “Cottage Hospital is Top 20 critical access hospital in U.S.”, New Hampshire Union Leader, John Koziol, May, 2014.
  • “4 Key Ways to Improve Clinical Outcomes”, Becker’s Hospital Review, Helen Adamopoulos, May, 2014.
  • “How 25-Bed Cottage Hospital Reached MU2”, Becker’s Hospital Review, Helen Gregg, July, 2014.
  • “Stage2 success: CAH shows how it’s done”, Healthcare IT News, Mike Miliard, August, 2014.
  • “How did a rural NH hospital achieve Stage 2 Meaningful Use?”, EHR Intelligence, Kyle Murphy, PhD, August, 2014.
  • “CEO leads Cottage Hospital to excellence”, New Hampshire Union Leader, John Koziol, September 2014.
  • “The Little Hospital That Could: CEO of Cottage Hospital is Determined to Make a Big Impact”, The Valley News, Enterprise, August 2017.
  • “Maria Ryan, 2017 Outstanding Woman in Business”, NH Business Review, Liisa Rajala, February 2017.“Women at the Top – The Top 50 Women-Led Nonprofits in NH”, Business NH Magazine, Erika Cohen, October 2013.