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NH hospital CEO linked to Giuliani is leaving her post

  • Cottage Hospital CEO Maria Ryan on Wednesday, June 14, 2017, in Woodsville, N.H. (Valley News - Jovelle Tamayo) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 12/4/2020 8:40:17 PM
Modified: 12/4/2020 8:40:04 PM

WOODSVILLE — Cottage Hospital CEO Maria Ryan will step down from her post early next year.

Ryan, who has led the 35-bed hospital on Swiftwater Road for 10 years, informed the board on Nov. 19 that she plans to depart on Jan. 30, Dhaniele Duffy, the Woodsville hospital’s spokeswoman, said in an email.

“Her leaving us will be an incredible loss,” Duffy said in her Friday email.

Ryan was unavailable for an interview on Friday, Duffy said.

“She did a great job,” Cottage Hospital Board Chairman Mark Gleicher said of Ryan in a phone interview. “Cottage is in a good place. Financially we’re in a very strong place. Surprisingly strong. It’s crazy.”

Gleicher, who said Ryan didn’t offer a reason for her departure, said board members are hopeful they might convince her to stay on a bit longer in order to buy them time to find a replacement.

Cottage, which had an operating budget of $34.2 million for the 2019 fiscal year, is expecting to finish this fiscal year with a surplus, as it did last year, Gleicher said.

Last year’s surplus was $758,571, according to the hospital’s most recent 990 tax filing.

During her tenure, Ryan, who is in her mid-50s, oversaw the closing of the hospital’s birthing center in 2014, as well as the opening of the Rowe Health Center, a clinic across the street from the hospital, in 2015; and the opening of the 10-bed Ray of Hope geriatric behavioral health unit the following year.

She started working at Cottage Hospital in 2006 in the dual role of chief nursing officer and chief operating officer. She holds an associate degree from New Hampshire Technical Institute, a bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire, a master’s degree from Rivier College in Nashua, N.H., and a doctorate in health care administration from Warren National University, an online school that closed in 2009 following a failed accreditation bid. She is a board-certified nurse practitioner and registered nurse.

She earned a compensation package totaling $316,038 in 2018, according to Cottage’s most recent tax filing.

Ryan also has established a high profile away from work. Last year, she accompanied former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to a state dinner at the White House, and on several trips abroad including to Paris, London, Albania and Israel.

In May of this year, the two launched a radio show “Uncovering the Truth with Rudy Giuliani and Maria Ryan” aired on WABC in New York. They’ve covered topics such as “uncovering voter fraud,” President Donald Trump’s COVID-19 diagnosis and efforts to defund the police.

In a tweet on Nov. 6, Ryan tried to boost the discredited assertion that voter fraud cost Trump the election.

“Yes, Democrats Are Trying To Steal The Election In Michigan, Wisconsin, And Pennsylvania,” the tweet read, highlighting a post from the conservative outlet The Federalist.

Ryan attended a Republican National Convention event in Washington, D.C., in August. A video clip from the event shared on social media showed her without a mask and seated next to Giuliani. Duffy said at the time that attendees at the RNC were tested frequently for COVID-19 and everyone wears masks in the hospital.

Gleicher said Ryan’s ability to navigate the political world in order to get financial support for the hospital has been “a strength of her tenure and more so as the years have gone on.”

He said he wasn’t sure how long it might take to find a new CEO, but board members aim to convince Ryan to give them “as much time as she can give us. It will help.”

Nora Doyle-Burr can be reached at or 603-727-3213.

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