About Us

Southern New Hampshire Health, includes:

  • Southern New Hampshire Medical Centera 188-bed acute care facility located in the heart of downtown Nashua, has a medical staff of over 500 primary and specialty care providers from Foundation Medical Partners, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Nashua, and local independent practices. 

  • Foundation Medical Partners, a multi-specialty provider group, including more than 300  providers in primary, specialty and immediate care serving thousands of patients in more than 70 practices across southern New Hampshire and northern Massachusetts.

  • Immediate Care, offering walk-in care 7 days a week at 4 locations.

We’re dedicated to improving your health and wellbeing with innovative programs and preventive health resources.


A Member of SolutionHealth
SolutionHealth is a regional healthcare organization that represents a combination of Southern New Hampshire Health and Elliot Health System. The founding vision of SolutionHealth is to provide highly-coordinated, community-based regional healthcare through collaborative planning to increase access, quality, value and community benefit for residents of southern NH. Learn more.

A Partner with Boston’s Top Teaching Hospital
We are Massachusetts General Hospital’s first clinical affiliate in the region. This affiliation gives you easy access to world-class treatment, with joint programs in stroke, cancer, vascular surgery, and pediatric specialties.
Leaders in Care Delivery
Through Foundation Medical Partners, we’re redesigning primary care.  Patients in our primary care practices are part of a patient centered medical home (PCMH), a new model for care delivery. Team-based and tightly coordinated, medical homes can improve care at lower costs. Learn more about PCMH.


Our Mission and Vision


Southern New Hampshire Health is dedicated to providing exceptional care that improves the health and well-being of individuals and the communities we serve. 


Southern New Hampshire Health is a provider of choice, delivering convenient access to high value, quality care in an environment that embraces dignity, compassion and service to the people of our community.

Our Beliefs

A higher level of care means we believe in treating you the way we would like to be treated.
It starts with empathy — listening to how you feel and working to understand your needs.
It continues with respect — spending quality time to explain care and services in a way that everyone can understand.
Communication is important — we work as a team to keep everyone, including you and your family, informed about your care.
Relationships are built on trust — something that is yours to give, and ours to earn, in everything we do.
Our dedication to a higher level of care is more than words. It takes expertise, knowledge and commitment. We work every day to deliver the best possible care, tailored to your needs, with support and understanding.

Senior Leadership

Executive Team

Colin T. McHugh, President and CEO, Southern New Hampshire Health
Colin McHugh, a trusted healthcare executive with more than 25 years of experience, joined Southern New Hampshire Health (SNHH) as president and chief executive officer in April 2022. Prior to this role, McHugh was senior vice president and chief value officer for SolutionHealth, the regional health system created when SNHH and Elliot Health System combined in 2018. While with SolutionHealth, McHugh stepped in as interim president of SNHH in 2020, leading the organization through a leadership transition, the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the implementation of the Epic electronic medical record.

Prior to joining SNHH and SolutionHealth, McHugh served in various executive leadership roles, gaining a wealth of experience in integrated health care delivery and value-based payment models. These previous roles include senior vice president of network development and contracting at MaineHealth; interim president & CEO of Synernet, Inc.; and vice president of provider engagement and contracting for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield.

He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Arts from The University of Connecticut. 

Jim Watkins, Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Southern New Hampshire Health
With more than 25 years of medical group leadership experience, Jim is President of Watkins Associates, which focuses on financial performance in the healthcare sector. He currently serves as an executive-level consultant to Foundation Medical Partners. More recently, Jim has taken a lead role in our system-level strategic priorities. Jim first joined Foundation from 2000-2005 serving in a finance leadership role. Jim rejoined the organization in 2017 after more than a decade away serving in a variety of senior leadership positions across New England, including Hartford Healthcare, Women and Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, and the William H. Backus Health System located in Norwich, Connecticut. Jim earned his B.S. in Business Administration from Springfield College and Master’s in Business Administration from Nichols College.

Salvatore Vella, Jr., DO, Chief Medical Officer, Foundation Medical Partners
Sal joined the Foundation in 1999 as a founding member of Memorial Medical Associates. He left the organization and returned in 2009 where he continues to practice at Downtown Medical Associates. He has been involved in leadership throughout the organization in multiple roles, serving on the Board of Governors since 2012, as Vice Chief of Staff for the Medical Center since 2019, and currently Chief of Staff. He has been a valued member of the Southern NH Medical Center Board of Trustees since January 2022. Additionally, during his tenure, he has assisted with teaching UNE medical students as they rotate through various disciplines and specialties, as well as precepting MGH Institute of Health Professions Physician Assistant students.   

Susan Santana, Senior Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center
Susan joined Southern NH Medical Center in 2022. Dedicated to the practice of nursing for more than 30 years, she brings a wealth of nursing experience paired with demonstrated leadership to SNHMC. Susan has served in several progressive leadership roles for Lowell General Hospital—most recently as their Associate Chief Nursing Officer with extensive oversight of its nursing practice. Susan is a transformational leader who is best known for her passion in supporting the work environment for all health care workers and creating a culture of shared decision making. The breadth of Susan’s experience throughout the nursing profession offers valuable knowledge and perspective for her role with SNHMC. Susan is a certified nurse executive from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She earned her Master of Science in nursing and Master’s in Business Administration with a focus in organizational leadership from Rivier University. She is also finishing her Doctorate in Nursing Practice and is anticipating graduation this Spring.

Rebecca Cooper-Piela, MS, APRN-BC, Vice President of Quality, Safety and Accreditation and Chief Quality Officer
Rebecca joined Foundation Medical Partners in 1995 as a primary care provider. She is a board-certified adult nurse practitioner. She became involved in medical leadership when she joined the Board of Governors, serving from 1997 to 2003 and again in 2007 through 2009. Rebecca began her work with quality assurance when she joined the Foundation Quality Assurance Committee in 2005. In 2015, she took on the role of Medical Director for the Quality Assurance, Department of Foundation Medical Partners. In December of 2019, she was promoted to the role of Chief Quality Officer for Southern NH Health. In 2021, Rebecca was promoted to Vice President of Quality, Safety and Accreditation and Chief Quality Officer. She graduated from Boston College with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1991 and Master’s in Nursing in 1994. Rebecca is also certified in health care quality management by the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians.

Joseph Leahy, DO, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center 
Dr. Leahy joined Southern New Hampshire Medical Center in December 1997 as a staff emergency medicine physician and held several leadership positions prior to his appointment as Associate Vice President of Emergency Medicine. He has served as the Chief of the Medical Staff and Penultimate Past President of the NH Osteopathic Association. In addition to his administrative duties, Dr. Leahy continues to treat patients in the emergency department at Southern New Hampshire Medical Center. He currently serves on the United Way of Greater Nashua Community Advisory Council and is a former board member of the Granite State Children’s Alliance.
Dr. Leahy graduated from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, ME and completed a residency in Emergency Medicine at Union Hospital in Union, NJ. 

Scott Cote, Vice President of Facilities and Emergency Management 
Scott joined the organization in 1999 as Director of Property Management, eventually assuming his current position. He is responsible for facility planning, operations, construction management, and emergency management for Southern NH Health. Scott previously held positions as director of facility operations for Dartmouth-Hitchcock, the Nashua School District, and Merrimack College. He is a graduate of North Shore Technical School, where he majored in construction theory and management. Scott attended New England Institute, majoring in mechanical engineering. He holds an unrestricted construction superintendent license and is a certified health care emergency professional.
Leanne Berube MHL, BSN, RN, CENP, Executive Director of Surgical and Ancillary Services
Leanne joined Southern NH Health in 2022 with over 18 years of experience in Perioperative Services. Leanne has held several perioperative leadership positions across New England, most recently as operating room director for Beth Israel Deconess Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts. Leanne is a progressive leader in the surgical services arena and has focused her career on optimizing the continuum of care for surgical and procedural patients. In 2024, Leanne expanded her role to include lab services, radiology services, and cardiology and respiratory therapy services. She earned her B.S. in Nursing from Endicott College and her master's in health care leadership from Western Governors University. 
Laura Forgione, Executive Director Inpatient Nursing, Professional Practice, and Magnet Program, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center
Laura joined Southern New Hampshire Health in 1998 as a new graduate RN. During her nearly 25 years here, Laura has served in many progressive leadership roles, including clinical teacher, unit director, and most recently, director of professional practice and Magnet program director. 
Laura is a highly motivated and energetic leader who focuses on empowering nurses and engaging teams throughout the organization to achieve excellence in all aspects of their work.  She has actively supported the Magnet Nursing Excellence Program at Southern NH Medical Center throughout her career, helping to achieve four Magnet designations. Laura is a certified Lean Green Belt and received her Advanced Nursing Leadership Certification in 2014 from Saint Anselm College. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of New Hampshire and is currently pursuing her master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University.
Michelle Gardner, Executive Director of Behavioral Health Services
Michelle has over 29 years of experience in behavioral health. She joined Southern New Hampshire Health in 2000 as a registered nurse in the Behavioral Health Unit and has since served as the clinical manager, unit director, and director of behavioral health services. She is a board-certified psychiatric mental health nurse and nurse executive. In addition, she holds a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Leadership in Health Systems Management from Rivier University and is a Doctor of Nursing Practice candidate in Systems Leadership at Rivier University. Michelle currently serves on the Greater Nashua Mental Health Board.
Betsy Houde, MA, Executive Director, Community Partnerships
Betsy joined Southern New Hampshire Health in 2018 after more than 20 years as executive director of The Youth Council, a local nonprofit serving at-risk youth. As Southern NH Health's Executive Director of Community Partnerships, Betsy is responsible for identifying and leveraging creative collaborations to address unmet health needs in the community and overseeing Volunteer Services, the Auxiliary, and the Coffee Shop.
Betsy served as a 12-year member of the NH Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse. She is also a fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a founding board member of the Endowment for Health. She has been recognized with several awards, including being named one of Greater Nashua's 25 Extraordinary Women. She is a Commissioner for Nashua’s Citizens Advisory Council, an election volunteer in Nashua’s Ward 7, and serves on the Greater Nashua Food Council and Nashua’s Public Health Advisory Council. She’s a 27-year member and past president of Nashua West Rotary and an alumnus of Leadership Greater Nashua class of 2000.
Betsy received her Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College and Master of Arts in Counseling from Rivier University.