LAWRENCE — Growing up, Matthew Caffrey remembers seeing his father volunteer in the community.
“Watching him get a lot of satisfaction from these projects, I wanted to do something like that myself,” he said of his father, Thomas Caffrey, a lawyer since 1963.
The younger Caffrey not only followed in his father’s footsteps in the courtroom, but also as serving on boards of non-profit organizations. One of them is Lawrence General Hospital which Caffrey joined in 2007 and was recently named chairman.
“It’s very humbling and an honor to have been chosen,” he said. “I have tremendous respect for the trustees I work with and to have them place their faith in me, I’ll take the opportunity to meet these expectations.”
Caffrey, 47 succeeds Richard Santagati, chairman since 2006 and a board member for 25-years.
“Dick had a wonderful term as chairman and ran the board in an efficient way. Dick’s legacy is a very strong one and I’m filling big shoes. I hope I can live to some of the expectations,” Caffrey said.
Santagati, former president of Merrimack College was named chair emeritus of the hospital’s board.
“It has been extremely gratifying to be part of the extraordinary growth in quality and services achieved by this talented and committed board, management and staff,” Santagati said in a statement.
“I look forward to collaborating on and supporting future initiative for the benefits of the patients,” said Santagati in the statement.
Lawrence General Hospital has 19 board members, including president and chief executive officer, Dianne Anderson. Members represent a very diverse group of people including doctors, self-employed entrepreneurs, small business owners, politicians and financial experts.
“We’re very excited to have Matt as our chairman, and look forward to working with him and our other new members,” Anderson said in a statement. “Our board leadership is terrific, and we’re privileged to have a team that shares our commitment to our patients and our mission of providing clinical quality and service excellence.”
Caffrey said he joined the Lawrence General Hospital board to make a difference. He also has personal reasons for getting involved with Lawrence General, as it is the hospital he and his family go.
“I wanted to be part of something that impacts me and my family,” said Caffrey, a trial attorney who in addition to litigation, has experience in land use and environmental issues. Caffrey has worked with his father, who is semi-retired, for 20 years. Thomas Caffrey is best known for the community-wide effort he spearheaded to raise close to $1 million to restore and preserve the Ayer Clock Tower in Lawrence.
“My parents instilled in us the notion that it’s not all about the money, it’s about what you can do to make our community better,” Caffrey said.
Caffrey said the highlight of his years on the board was being part of planning the $20 million emergency and trauma center. The three-story, 35,000-square-foot building with 37 treatment rooms opened in 2006.
Caffrey served on the facilities and grounds subcommittee, which helped select a contractor, get permits and licenses and go out and look at the work being done.
“It was exciting to be involved in the planning, designing, raising funds and building the emergency room, which is a dynamic player in this region,” he said.
Caffrey graduated cum laude from Phillips Academy in Andover in 1984 and summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Middlebury College. He received his law degree in 1991 from University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Caffrey is a past president of the Lawrence Bar Association and has served on the board of Mary Immaculate Nursing and HealthCare Services Inc. and Berkeley Retirement Home Inc.
Caffrey and his wife Liana have three daughters, Michela, Natalie and Sophia. Liana Caffrey is the director of alumni volunteer recruitment at Leslie University
In addition to Caffrey, joining the Lawrence General Hospital Board of Trustees were Jonathan G. Isaacson and Christopher H. Colecchi.
Isaacson is president and chief executive officer of The Gem Group, a privately held supplier of bags, business accessories and gifts headquartered in Lawrence.
Colecchi is managing director of Broadview Ventures, the philanthropic investing arm of the Paris-based Leducq Family Trust, whose mission is to accelerate the development of cures for cardiovascular diseases.