Southcoast’s Keith Hovan Receives Valcourt Outstanding Citizen Award

In thanking Chamber members at Annual Meeting, Hovan dedicates honor to health system staff.

FALL RIVER and NEW BEDFORD, Mass. – At the One SouthCoast Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Meeting on Thursday, Keith Hovan accepted the Valcourt Outstanding Citizen Award on behalf of all 7,500 employees at Southcoast Health, where he is President and CEO, while acknowledging he is “humbled to be placed in the company” of past honorees.

“In 2020, the Valcourt Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award is not about any one individual. This year’s award recognizes so many amazing healthcare professionals across our entire South Coast region, including the heroic nurses, providers, support services, clinical staff, first responders and others behind the scenes who serve with valor and commitment to keep us all healthy and safe,” Hovan told Chamber members, gathered remotely via Zoom. “In addition, this year’s award recognizes all of you. Our entire community – including our region’s business, civic and elected leaders – who from the beginning of this pandemic have supported us in countless ways.”

For more than 50 years, the Outstanding Citizen Award has been given to business and community leaders with long records of volunteerism, leadership and lasting contributions, according to the Chamber. In 1979, upon the passing of Roger Valcourt, the award was named in his honor. A member of the then-Bristol County Chamber of Commerce, he was founder and president of Valcourt Industrial Supply Co. in Fall River and involved in a number of causes and organizational boards.

“We are so pleased to recognize Keith for his leadership, not just during these challenging pandemic times, but also throughout the past decade, when his tenure as President and CEO at Southcoast Health has been dedicated to the strengthening of our region through access and service,” said Brian LeComte, Chair of the Board of Directors for the One SouthCoast Chamber. “He’s a truly admirable individual who carries on the Valcourt tradition, and we know that his acceptance of this award is on behalf of the many frontline healthcare workers who have sacrificed so much.”

This Annual Meeting marked two firsts: The inaugural event for the newly named One SouthCoast Chamber, and a virtual assembly for hundreds of members.

“As a proud member of the One SouthCoast Chamber as well as a Trustee for Southcoast Health, I have worked closely with Keith and know he possesses all of the qualities of someone very deserving of the Valcourt Award,” said Jason Rua, a past Valcourt recipient. “His volunteerism and efforts on behalf of so many organizations in our community have been overwhelming. I have seen firsthand how he fights every day not only for our region’s wellness, but also for its equity. During this pandemic, Southcoast’s nurses, providers and staff, with Keith’s leadership, have stepped up in extraordinary ways to keep our community informed, engaged and protected. I am pleased that the Chamber has chosen to recognize them for their tireless efforts.”

Louis A. Cabral, current Chair of the Southcoast Board of Trustees, agreed.

“Keith has been a transformative leader for Southcoast, guiding the system to previously unreached levels of clinical excellence across all areas of care,” Cabral said. “He has assembled an incredible team of medical professionals and empowered them to address our community’s most pressing healthcare issues.”

On Thursday, the One SouthCoast Chamber named Jennifer Preston, Jennifer Downing, Feed the First Responders and the Fall River Vietnam Memorial Wall Committee as recipients of its John S. Brayton Community Service Award. For more information, visit