President, Rochester General Hospital
Years in current role: 3.5
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The people. Rochester General has been a part of my life since I was 6 years old when I used to come to work with my father, physician and former medical director at RGH. I have had a great appreciation for those who work at RGH from the time I joined the staff at RGH in 1996 to work through the pandemic. I am privileged to work for the people who work here. I love to hear their stories, the notes from patients and how these people impact lives.
What has been the biggest challenge you’ve dealt with over the past year?
Facing down the barrel of a surge we knew was coming and knowing that it would strain us. We modeled a surge that was within 20 patients of where it arrived. Facing uncertainty, facing fears, and the incredible people who met that challenge — the toll it took on them, their emotional and physical fatigue, their pain, both personal losses and professional losses.
What do you see as the biggest changes in the health care industry in the next 3-5 years?
Health care experienced monumental changes in 2020 — rapid expansion of telemedicine, remote work of non-clinical services, alternative care delivery models (who saw drive-through care?). Recovering from 2020-2021 will be about rebuilding better — using the lessons we learned through the pandemic to deliver better; expanding access to communities where social disparities historically received less care; delivering care the ways that patients want it, virtually or in person, in patient homes rather than hospitals or skilled nursing facilities; focusing on access to mental health care and addressing drug addiction and dependency. Increased emphasis on value in health care, with increasing reliance on data to drive those decisions on cost and outcomes.
What community organizations do you support as a volunteer and why?
My wife, a pediatrician, and I are supporters of Intervol — an exceptional charity that connects unused medical supplies to the neediest and provides volunteer opportunities for medical professionals. Whether in Haiti, Jamaica, Belize or Western New York, Intervol has provided medical humanitarian relief. We traveled to Belize and provided care in rural clinics just before the pandemic with plans to see Intervol return three more times in 2020. The pandemic disrupted those visits but not the relief that Intervol provided when Tropical Storm Elsa hit Jamaica. We are honored to be the Honorary Chairs of this year’s Off the Vine Charity Fundraising Event in September.
What are you most looking forward to doing as COVID restrictions ease?
I look forward to dining outside, travel and visiting our Canadian neighbors.