Southcoast Health CEO charged with assault and battery

Nov 9, 2021

ROCHESTER — The President and CEO of Southcoast Health, Keith Hovan, was arrested and charged with assault and battery on Nov. 6 after an incident at his Mary’s Pond Road home in Rochester, according to Rochester Police reports.

Police were dispatched to Hovan’s house at about 10:30 pm on Saturday night, Nov. 6, after receiving a 911 call.

After interviewing Hovan, the victim and a witness, police took Hovan into custody and transported him to the police station, according to the report. Sippican Week does not publish the names of domestic violence victims.

Officers confiscated Hovan’s license to carry during his arrest and later returned to his home to take possession of his firearms, which numbered more than 40, according to police reports. Officers were accompanied by a firearms expert from J&S Guns.

The incident stemmed from an argument over what to watch on television, according to accounts detailed in the police report.

When police arrived on the scene, an officer observed that Hovan seemed to be covered in an alcoholic-smelling liquid. Hovan made a statement along the lines of “It was me, I did it,” the officer wrote.

Responding officers noted spots of blood on the victim’s clothing and a red mark under their eye that was “consistent with an impact of some kind.” Later, police observed that the mark under the victim’s eye got more pronounced and eventually bruised.

Bail was set at $240 after a mandatory 6-hour holding period and Hovan posted bail shortly after, according to the report.

While not ordered to stay away from his Mary's Pond Road home, the state Department of Child and Family Services advised Hovan not to go back and he agreed to stay on his boat in Marion, instead.

A statement released by Southcoast Health asserted that Hovan alerted the board of the incident the following morning and assured the public that “the Hovan family has the full support of the Board as they deal with this personal family matter.”

The hospital system stated that it would refrain from further comment out of respect for the family’s privacy and to allow the matter to be adjudicated.

Hovan was arraigned on Monday, Nov. 9 and pleaded not guilty.

He is scheduled to appear back in court on Nov. 24.

Hovan was hired as the President and CEO of Southcoast Hospitals Group, Inc. in 2008 and as President and CEO of Southcoast Health System, Inc. in 2011.

Prior to his time at Southcoast, Hovan was the executive vice president and chief operating officer at Danbury Health System.

Hovan was also the co-chairman of Governor Baker’s healthcare transition team after the 2014 gubernatorial election.