Patricia McGovern

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Patricia McGovern
Lawrence Station 3.jpg
Station platform at the 2005-built Senator Patricia McGovern Transportation Center in Lawrence, Massachusetts.
Chairman of the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee
In office
Preceded byChester G. Atkins
Succeeded byThomas Birmingham

Patricia McGovern is an attorney and former Democratic Massachusetts State Senator from Lawrence, Massachusetts. She was formerly the General Counsel and Senior Vice President for Corporate and Community Affairs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.


McGovern holds a bachelor's degree and law degree from Suffolk University. She also studied at the Hague Academy of International Law.[1]

McGovern served in the Massachusetts Senate for 12 years, from 1981 to 1993,[2] and was the first woman to chair the powerful Massachusetts Senate Committee on Ways and Means.[3] While the Chair of that Committee McGovern was the principal architect of the first serious effort in Massachusetts to enact a universal health insurance law. Under her stewardship, such a law was enacted in 1988 – with the controversial inclusion of a payroll tax – but the law was never implemented by the newly elected Governor of the Commonwealth, the Republican William Weld, because of his opposition to the payroll tax. However, Michael Dukakis used the enactment of the universal health care law on the campaign trail in his run for the U.S. Presidency, notwithstanding that McGovern had done most of the hard lifting in getting it enacted.[citation needed]

In 1998 McGovern sought the Democratic nomination for Governor of Massachusetts but lost to Scott Harshbarger. She received 31 percent of the vote.[4]

McGovern has also served as Executive Vice President for External Affairs at CareGroup Healthcare System and practiced law at the Boston law firm of Goulston & Storrs. In addition, she was the Executive Director of the Governor’s Committee on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice in the Executive Office of Public Safety, and has participated in a number of Blue Ribbon Committees and Commissions, including most recently the Transportation Finance Commission. She became senior vice president for corporate and community affairs at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and also became its general counsel in 2005 before stepping down in 2012.[1]

The Senator Patricia McGovern Transportation Center in Lawrence, Massachusetts is named for the former Senator. The center, which opened in 2005, is a bus and train station serving Lawrence and the neighboring towns of Andover and North Andover.[3][5]


  1. ^ a b "McGovern Named BIDMC General Counsel" (Press release). Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 2005-07-21. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  2. ^ Finucane, Martin (1997-09-17). "McGovern to run for governor". AP via The Standard-Times (New Bedford). Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  3. ^ a b "November 30 - December 7, 2005" (PDF). Merrimack Valley Happenings... Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council. Retrieved 2007-10-05.[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ "Massachusetts primary results – September 15, 1998". CNN. 1998-09-15. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
  5. ^ "The Senator Patricia McGovern Transportation Center will be open for service on". MVRTA. Archived from the original on 2007-09-22. Retrieved 2007-09-25.
Political offices
Preceded by
Chester G. Atkins
Chairman of the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee
Succeeded by
Thomas Birmingham