Newport, VT – The Search Committee, with the approval of the Board of Trustees, is happy to announce Claudio Fort as North Country Health System’s new President and CEO.Claudio grew up in Nashua, New Hampshire. His parents are both deceased but his in-laws and siblings live in southern New Hampshire. He and his wife, Brenda, have two children. Gabriela “Gabby,” is age 12 and in the sixth grade and their son, Camden, age 10, is in the fourth grade. Prior to having children, Brenda worked full-time as an insurance underwriter. She was a stay-at-home mom until their children began school. She now works part-time at a local insurance agency.Claudio attended the University of New Hampshire and graduated in 1988 with a double major in Economics and History. He earned an MBA from New Hampshire College in 1997.The summer before his senior year in college Claudio got a job at Bon Secours (now Holy Family Hospital) in Methuen, Massachusetts as a summer intern, which was his introduction to healthcare. The same summer his father passed away very suddenly of a heart attack and the outpouring of support he received from the Sisters and other staff at the hospital are what motivated him to pursue a career in healthcare administration. After he completed college, he accepted an industrial sales position for a defense subcontractor, but quickly knew that was not the direction he wanted his career to take. He applied for a marketing position with North Country Associates, a chain of nursing homes in Maine. Instead he was offered a nursing home administrator training position, filling in at a couple of their locations before receiving a permanent assignment as Administrator of a facility.After four years, Claudio was recruited by the Hillhaven Corporation as Administrator of their 83-bed skilled nursing facility in Maine. He enjoyed a very successful tenure with Hillhaven, but in 1996, the organization was sold.In 1997, Claudio was contacted by the CEO of the Main Veterans Homes, a five-facility system. After one year as administrator there, he was recruited as Vice President of Facility Operations as well as Nursing Home Administrator for Inland Hospital in Waterville, ME. In this role, he had responsibility for the 76-bed skilled nursing facility, as well as hospital responsibility for Facilities, Rehabilitation Services, Food and Nutritional Service, Housekeeping, Plant Operations, and Security. This gave Claudio the opportunity to move into acute care management, as well as providing him with Board and medical staff experience. In his role, he managed nine direct reports with responsibility for 140 employees, including seven physicians and three mid-level providers.In 2004 Claudio felt ready to move into a CEO role and was recruited to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Highland, Illinois, where he has enjoyed success for the last five years. Though they have enjoyed living in Illinois, Claudio and Brenda have missed their families and life in New England. The opportunity to become North Country’s CEO and also live in VT was the perfect combination for Claudio, both professionally and personally.Claudio enjoys being professionally active and feels it is important to contribute to the communities in which he has lived. He is currently a member of the American College of Health Care Executives and the president-elect of Region 4 of the Illinois Hospital Association. He is a member of the Highland Rotary Club and serves on the Board of Directors of the Highland Chamber of Commerce. Claudio is also on the Strategic Planning Committee of the local school district. He is looking forward to making Newport his home and becoming an active member of our community.In his leisure hours Claudio enjoys spending time with his family in a variety of recreational activities including camping, hiking, skiing, boating, traveling, and supporting his children in their various academic, cultural, and athletic events.The Forts plan to move over the holidays and Claudio will assume his role as CEO in early January.