Newport Hospital CEO receives Alumni Achievement Award from Nichols College

October 21, 2021

Newport Hospital President Crista Durand receives the Nichols College Alumni Achievement Award from Bill Pieczynski, vice president for advancement at Nichols, on October 15.

DUDLEY, Mass. – Crista Durand, president and CEO of Newport Hospital and a 2001 MBA graduate of Nichols College, received its Alumni Achievement Award at a luncheon held on the Nichols campus October 15.

In presenting the award, Bill Pieczynski, vice president of advancement at Nichols, noted Durand’s accomplished 25-year career in healthcare administration, comprising Connecticut’s Lawrence & Memorial and Day Kimball hospitals.

He quoted Norey Cullen, chair of the foundation board at Newport Hospital, who described Durand as a modern, effective, and proficient leader. “Crista came in and took a sleepy, struggling hospital and put it on the map,” said Cullen. “She has such a positive aura about her…she’s incredibly engaging and available…but more than anything, she is a problem solver.”

Appointed as president of Newport Hospital in 2014, Durand has been credited for a turnaround in recruiting, fundraising, and community outreach at the 129-bed facility. During the pandemic, while caring for the hospital’s most vulnerable patients, Newport continued to receive national accreditations and recognitions and keep construction projects on track, including renovations to its Women’s Health and Vanderbilt Rehabilitation centers, safety enhancements to its main entrance, and an expansion of diagnostic imaging equipment.

In her remarks, Durand thanked Nichols for the honor and shared, “I have fond memories of my time at Nichols and, in many ways, this experience helped set the tone for a fast-paced career. While working toward my MBA here, I was balancing new responsibilities as the CFO of Day Kimball Healthcare and adjusting to life with a baby at home.” She later added, “The MBA experience at Nichols College is second to none; it propelled my career to the next level and the skills I acquired are still relevant today.  The friends and networking it afforded me will last a lifetime.”

Durand praised the “incredible staff” at Newport Hospital for their dedication and courage during the past 18 months as well as the executive team, saying, “I could not have gotten through without their expertise, stamina, agility and drive.”  Referring to the continued demands of COVID on the healthcare industry, Durand said, “There’s still more work to do before this pandemic is officially behind us, but I’m optimistic and hopeful that that day is on the horizon.”

About Nichols College

The mission of Nichols College is to educate and enlighten students to capitalize on their ambitions and to become impactful, forward-looking global leaders.

Media Contacts

Susan Veshi
AVP, Advancement and College Communications

Jillian Riches
Asst. Director, Public Engagement