PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Care New England’s chief financial officer, Joe Iannoni, is retiring next month after nearly a decade with the state’s second largest hospital system, Target 12 has confirmed.

“Joe joined Care New England back in 2014 while the healthcare system was facing some serious financial challenges,” spokesperson Raina Smith said in a statement confirming his retirement, which will take effect on Jan. 31.

“As part of CNE’s resilient senior financial management team, Joe helped the system achieve best-in-class quality while attaining improved financial performance,” she added.

While Care New England provided high praise for Iannoni and his tenure at the hospital, saying he’s looking to spend more time at his home in northern New England, his departure comes after a tough year financially for the hospital group.

During the 2021-2022 financial year that ended Sept. 30, Care New England reported its operations lost $34 million compared to an operating profit of $16 million the prior fiscal year, thanks in large part to an influx of COVID relief money. Its hospitals include Women & Infants, Kent and Butler.

But its not alone. Lifespan, the state’s largest hospital group, reported a $77 million loss during the 2021-2022 fiscal year compared to an operating profit of $89 million the prior year. Lifespan’s CFO David Kirshner departed in October, although he’d only been there for less than a year and a half.

Both Kirshner’s and Iannoni’s resignations have also come in the same year as the announced departures of the hospitals’ top executives. Lifespan’s president and CEO Dr. Timothy Babineau unexpectedly announced his resignation in April and will be replaced by John Fernandez; Care New England’s former president and CEO, Dr. James Fanale, was succeeded last month by Dr. Michael Wagner.

The hospital groups had been trying to merge and control upward of 80% of the state’s hospital market share. But the deal was blocked last winter by federal regulators and Attorney General Peter Neronha, who deemed it monopolistic.

In a list of accomplishments detailed by Smith, she said Iannoni led by example and helped “distill a culture of accountability and quality” at Care New England.

“He uncovered structural operational deficiencies and convinced management and the board to begin a two-year multi-million-dollar margin improvement initiative,” she said.

“In 2016, he also successfully restructured CNE’s debt,” she added. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, Joe led the debt covenant relief process and expertly assisted in navigating CNE through difficult financial operations during distressing times and complex merger attempts.”

Eli Sherman (esherman@wpri.com) is a Target 12 investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with him on Twitter and on Facebook.

Ted Nesi contributed to this report.