Matt Fishman became Director of Community Benefit Programs for Partners in 1994. In 2005, he became Vice President for Community Health. His work focuses on improving systems of care for low income and uninsured patients; improving state payments for health services; participating actively in statewide efforts to reform the Medicaid program and to provide affordable coverage for the uninsured through the state's health care reform legislation. He also leads Partners's efforts to collaborate with community health centers and other community-based organizations to make measurable progress on tough public health problems (including racial disparities, cancer, alcohol and substance abuse among young people, infant mortality, domestic violence, and immigrant health) in the urban communities the Partners system serves. Workforce development initiatives, in collaboration with the Partners hospitals, are another important element of his work. These initiatives focus on providing lower wage workers and community residents with options for moving up the health care career ladder through additional education and training.
Previously, Mr. Fishman worked at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH). As a Deland Fellow, he was a key participant in designing and implementing new efforts to respond to rising infant mortality rates in Boston. To carry out the hospital's commitments, he established and became the first Director of BWH's Center for Perinatal and Family Health (now the Office for Women, Family, and Community Programs). At the same time, he was the Operations Director for BWH's Emergency Department (ED) for three years. He led efforts to improve ED patient satisfaction by improving ED systems and ED collaboration with inpatient units and other hospital departments.
Mr. Fishman began his career in state government. He served as Budget Director for the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare and then as Assistant Secretary of Human Services during the second and third terms of Governor Michael Dukakis. He helped to develop and obtain legislative financing for what became a nationally recognized job training, employment, and child care program for women on public assistance, and he played a major role in the first effort to design and finance a statewide universal health coverage system. He also led efforts to improve services for the elderly, expand substance abuse and HIV/AIDS treatment, and convert underutilized hospitals to other uses.
Mr. Fishman serves on the Board of the Institute for Community Health (a collaboration of Cambridge Health Alliance, Mt. Auburn Hospital, MGH, and Partners). He is a graduate of Harvard College.