Merrimack Valley United
Two Executives With Local Roots Head New Pentucket Medical Leadership Team
Garrett Bomba and Jason Khalil can expertly answer your health care questions. They can tell you about all aspects of Pentucket Medical, where the two executives oversee a substantial staff and the care of thousands of patients across five locations.
But they also can tell you how to play the card game 45s and name the stores that used to be in the old Methuen Mall.
Bomba and Khalil grew up in the Merrimack Valley and continue to maintain roots in the communities where they made childhood memories and formed friendships that have lasted a lifetime.
Last October, each began new roles at Pentucket Medical, and as they settle into those positions, each wants the network to remain convenient and welcoming for residents of the valley.
Jason Khalil’s childhood in Methuen had it all.
He had a lot of family nearby. His close-knit, diverse group of friends could usually be found hanging out in someone’s backyard, or at a neighborhood park preparing for a basketball game against kids from Lawrence. Otherwise, they were passing the afternoon in the arcades at the mall.
“I loved every minute of it,” says Khalil, a Methuen native. “The friends I had growing up were special.”
Several members of the group still live in Methuen or the surrounding towns, and they all get together once a year.
After graduating from Methuen High School, Khalil moved to Lowell, where he paid his own way through UMass. There, he found himself among another diverse group of friends. Their various ethnicities earned them the good-natured nickname “the United Nations.”
With a degree in hand, Khalil began a career in finance. Over the next decade he held several positions in auditing and finance before becoming the director of finance at Pentucket Medical in 2012.
Khalil says he occasionally would daydream about moving to a warmer climate. But the thoughts were fleeting. This region is forever his home. His mother, stepfather and brother all live locally. His wife, Melissa, a Salem, N.H., native, also has relatives in the area.
“It’s all about family,” Khalil says. “How do you leave them?”
A resident of Newton, N.H., Khalil is happy he can raise his three sons in the area where he grew up and expose them to the range of cultures and traditions that made him who he is.
People who grow up in the Merrimack Valley are fortunate, Khalil explains. They are exposed to a wealth of eclectic communities in close proximity.
“It had everything you needed, and it had diversity,” he says.
His childhood home was the first house over the town line from Lawrence, and he spent much of his time in that neighboring city, forming a deep appreciation for what he saw.
After accepting the position at Pentucket Medical, Khalil worked his way through the ranks and became executive director last Oct. 1.
As he plans for Pentucket Medical’s future, Khalil describes the institution as a family that consists of dedicated and hardworking doctors and support staff who care deeply about the patients.
“I want patients to have a great experience,” he says. “I want employees to come to work and feel good about it.”
Garrett Bomba, the chief physician executive at Pentucket Medical, grew up in Salem, N.H., and spent his spare time playing sports and hanging out with friends. In elementary school, he learned to ski at the Bradford ski area in Haverhill.
As a teen, he attended Central Catholic High School in Lawrence.
“Central Catholic was a great opportunity to meet people from all around,” Bomba says.
The friends he made as a youth remain his close confidantes today. Every summer, the group of six families vacation together during Fourth of July week.
Bomba studied biology at the University of New Hampshire and later attended UMass Medical School in Worcester. After his residency in Springfield, he worked at Elliot Hospital in Manchester, N.H., for nearly a decade.
The hectic work schedule began to take its toll, and Bomba decided he no longer wanted to miss out on so much family time with his wife and three kids. In 2011, he took over as director of urgent care services at Pentucket Medical. He was named chief physician executive last October.
“When I came to Pentucket, my goal was to create an urgent care system … that was easy to access and navigate,” Bomba says. In his new role, he hopes to broaden that focus to include the entire physician’s group.
Almost instantly after joining the staff, Bomba knew he was back home where he belonged.
Tripoli Pizza remains his favorite place to grab a bite.
“I’m thankful that Methuen got a Chick-fil-A, too,” he says.
Once a month, he and his wife, Dawn, get together with friends and play the card game 45s.
“The Merrimack Valley is special,” Bomba says.