Maine Hospital Association selects Dr. Nirav Shah to be 2022 MHA Caregiver of the Year

(Augusta, Maine, June 1, 2022) The Maine Hospital Association (MHA) has selected Nirav Shah, MD, JD, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as this year’s MHA Caregiver of the Year.


Selecting Dr. Shah is a departure for the Association, which represents Maine’s 36 community-governed hospitals and health systems. Under normal circumstances, the Association honors a caregiver who is employed by a Maine hospital.


“As we know, nothing in the past two years has been normal,” said MHA President Steven Michaud. “All Maine hospital caregivers have gone to extraordinary lengths to care for their communities. They are our healthcare heroes. Our hospitals and health systems have cooperated with each other in unprecedented ways, working toward a common goal—to protect and heal Maine people.


“Dr. Shah helped set that tone with outstanding leadership and provided Maine hospitals and health systems with the resources they needed to provide COVID testing, treat those who became ill and offer widespread vaccination clinics,” Michaud said.


“He and the leadership and staff of the Department of Health & Human Services held countless Zoom meetings and calls with hospital, system and MHA representatives, leading to unprecedented collaboration to meet the challenge of this once in a 100-year public health crisis. The information, personal protective equipment, training and support we received from the Maine CDC is a big reason our hospitals and state managed the pandemic so well. Maine has one of the highest vaccination rates and lowest infection rates of any state in the nation,” Michaud said.


For much of the pandemic, Shah held regular press conferences, broadcast live, that offered clear information to Maine people. He became a trusted source, both for hospital staff and for the general public.


The award will be presented at MHA’s annual meeting, known as Summer Forum, on Wednesday, June 15 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport. It will be the first time in two years leaders from Maine’s hospitals will gather at a state-wide conference.


Shah was appointed director of the Maine CDC in 2019. He has a broad experience in public health, most recently as director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. As an attorney and public health economist, Shah previously advised professionals and governments around the nation and globe on improving the delivery of healthcare. Earlier in his career, he worked for the Ministry of Health in Cambodia, where his work included investigating and managing disease outbreaks as an epidemiologist. Shah received both medical and law degrees from the University of Chicago. He also studied economics at Oxford University.