NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) –  Cooley Dickinson Health Care’s latest President and CEO, Doctor Lynnette M. Watkins starts Monday.

According to a news release from Cooley Dickinson Health Care, Dr. Watkins was found for the position following a national search, and chosen to lead the extensive Northampton-based health care system due to her experience in health care leadership and notable accomplishments in performance improvement, quality, safety, provider relations and financial management.

Prior to leading Cooley Dickinson, Dr. Watkins served as the group chief medical officer for the Baptist Health System/Tenet Healthcare in Texas. Watkins earned her undergraduate and her medical degrees at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and completed her internship in internal medicine at Truman Medical Center in Kansas City before coming to Boston in 1995 as a resident in ophthalmology at Mass Eye and Ear, a part of the Mass General Brigham healthcare system. 

“Dr. Watkins brings to us a breadth of skills, leadership experience, perspective and vision that will help Cooley Dickinson continue to thrive as a destination of choice for health care in the Pioneer Valley,” said Fraser Beede, chair of the Cooley Dickinson Health Care Board of Trustees. “She not only has been an extraordinary leader within the organizations she has served but also has been a trusted voice and active participant in the communities where she has worked. Dr. Watkins will be instrumental in guiding our future strategic direction as a strong and vibrant organization and key contributor to the success of Mass General Brigham.”

Dr. Watkins is regarded as a widely respected ophthalmologist and health care administrator and leader. In addition to her medical degree she also holds a Masters in Business Administration.