NRHN Announces Helene Thibodeau as Chief Operating Officer / Chief Clinical Officer

Thibodeau recently honored with the Mary B. Conceison Award for Excellence in Nursing Leaders by the Organization of Nurse Leaders

Helene Thibodeau, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Clinical Officer(Salem, NH – June 2023) – Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Network is pleased to announce that Helene Thibodeau, DNP, RN, CRRN, NEA-BC, has been promoted to Chief Operating Officer, Chief Clinical Officer (COO, CCO). Thibodeau joined Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital nearly 10 years ago as the Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services. In 2021 she was named Chief Clinical Officer. Recently, Thibodeau was recognized by the Organization of Nurse Leaders (ONL) as the 2023 recipient of the Mary B. Conceison Award for Excellence in Nursing Leaders for her outstanding contributions as a nursing service administrator.

“Helene has dedicated her career to quality patient care and will continue to be instrumental in enhancing the quality of patient care for our entire network. She is a leading proponent of patient safety and inherently values the significance of evidence-based care, communication and teamwork for ongoing organizational and clinical process improvement,” said Mark Taylor, President of the Board of Directors, Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Network. “These traits, including her innovative management practices, are essential to our organization’s mission. We are grateful that Helene has joined our CEO/CFO Chuck and together they will continue to champion the vision of our founders Dr. Howard Gardner and his wife Naomi.”

By collaborating with employees across the network and connecting directly with patients and their loved ones, Thibodeau remains grounded in what is important: quality patient care and a positive work environment. “This is a wonderful opportunity at a remarkable organization, and I am excited to combine my passion for organizational and clinical excellence into one role,” said Thibodeau,  “Our collective focus on patients and their families is palpable and permeates across our organization as we proudly carry out the vision of our founders. I am truly honored to lead these efforts and am inspired daily by our exceptional team.”

Prior to joining Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Network, Thibodeau was the Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety at Saints Medical Center and Vice President Outpatient Services at Lowell General Hospital, both in Lowell, MA. Helene is passionate about the development of future leaders. She actively mentors many nurse leaders and has also held adjunct nursing faculty positions at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell (MA), Rivier University (Nashua, NH) and Northern Essex Community College (Haverhill, MA).

Thibodeau completed her Doctorate in Nursing Practice with a concentration as Nurse Executive. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing, Summa Cum Laude and Bachelors in nursing science from the University of MA, Lowell. She earned her Nurse Executive Advanced-Board Certification from the American Nurse Credentialing Center and holds national certification as a Rehabilitation Registered Nurse. She studied quality improvement science at the Institute for Health Improvement (IHI) and is a certified Patient Safety Officer. Thibodeau is also certified by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) as a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer. Her leadership with clinical and medical staffs has achieved numerous outcome improvements.

In addition, Thibodeau is active within the community and has served on several community boards. Mostly recently she volunteered in global health working with Partners in Health in Haiti where she utilized her expertise in systems design to help establish the first teaching hospital in Haiti. She is also an Ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association and an Expert Volunteer for their Trail Match Research Program. Thibodeau previously served as a Board Member for the Organization of Nurse Leaders (ONL) and continues to be an active member of their committees and taskforces. Through participation in the ONL taskforces, she helped author the Nursing Leadership Workforce compendium published by ONL. In addition to local state (NH) taskforces for workforce shortages, Thibodeau actively participates to create innovative solutions to improve these issues that affect patient care.

Charles “Chuck” Champagne previously served as the COO/CFO and has been named Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer. Thibodeau and Champagne led the networks’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the Network’s acute rehabilitation hospital in Salem became one of the first acute rehabilitation hospitals in the country to open a COVID unit, providing support and relief to area hospitals as they faced historic patient volume challenges. Champagne and Thibodeau have worked closely together during their time at Northeast Rehab and will continue to do so in their new roles.

About Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Network
Rebuilding lives through hope, compassion and a dedication to excellence.
Since 1984, Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Network has been providing highly specialized, comprehensive rehabilitation care to help individuals affected by life-changing injuries and illnesses rebuild their lives. Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Network was founded by Howard M. Gardner, M.D. in 1984 when its flagship location and first hospital opened in Salem, NH. Having served in the military, Gardner saw the essential need for and the profound benefit of providing a setting where individuals could receive specialized rehabilitation care. Today, the Network employs more than 1200 employees and includes four hospitals located in Salem, Portsmouth, Manchester and Nashua, NH; more than 20 outpatient clinics; an outpatient pediatric division; sports medicine services; and pain management services. All four of our acute rehabilitation hospitals are accredited by The Joint Commission and have also earned Disease-Specific Care Certification for brain injury, stroke and amputee rehabilitation. For more information about Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital Network: 

About the Mary B Conceison Award for Excellence in Nursing Leaders
The Mary B. Conceison Award for Excellence in Nursing Leaders recognizes outstanding contributions made by a nursing service administrator. Mary B. Conceison was Director of Professional Relations at the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA) for twelve years prior to her passing in 1981. Well known for her advocacy role in promoting nursing as a profession, Mrs. Conceison played an instrumental role in the formation of ONL. Prior to joining the MHA staff, Mrs. Conceison was Director of the School of Nursing at Somerville Hospital. She was active in a number of professional organizations including the New England Hospital Assembly, the National League for Nursing and the Massachusetts League for Nursing, where she served as President for four years. As an expression of appreciation for her work and the fine standards for which she stood, the Organization of Nurse Leaders designed the Mary B. Conceison Award for Excellence in Nursing Leadership. For more information about the Organization of Nurse Leaders and this award, visit: