President & CEO, Finger Lakes Health
Years in current role: 11.5
What was your biggest success in 2021?
Our biggest success in 2021 was being recognized as a health system with one of the highest rates of COVID-19 vaccinations in New York State, amongst our workforce at the outset of vaccine availability. The high rate of vaccinations achieved by our workforce early on helped assure our patients, long-term care residents, and employees were protected.
In addition, Finger Lakes Health ensured access to care in the communities we serve during the pandemic through expansion of telemedicine. We quickly adapted to leverage technology to connect with our patients and residents and their families.
What are your expectations for 2022?
In 2022, we expect to see a change from the COVID-19 pandemic transitioning to COVID-19 being characterized as an endemic disease. I anticipate that we will return to pseudo-normalcy. We look forward to hospital capacity normalizing and to be able to operate our health system with a focus on more traditional operations.
What is your biggest takeaway from dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic?
My biggest takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic has been that communication and teamwork have been again affirmed as the key to success. In this this particular case, communication and teamwork have played a crucial role in the safety of our communities. COVID-19 has also underscored what we have long known, that our Finger Lakes Health employees are our most vital and valuable asset. They embraced teamwork and demonstrated exceptional kindness, compassion, and dedication. I am privileged, honored, and humbled by our Finger Lakes Health family.
What is your favorite thing about the Rochester community?
The resiliency of our community is incredible. I am impressed by the creative collaborations and partnerships which are developed to address the multitude of challenges we face. Most importantly, I love the Finger Lakes and Rochester region for our people who sincerely and genuinely care for and about one another.
If time were no issue, what would you do to help the community that you aren’t already doing?
I would continue to develop and expand our current initiatives focused on mentoring young people and supporting them to complete high school and pursue rewarding careers.
We have a longstanding commitment to being a center for education, as evidenced by our LPN Program, the Marion S. Whelan School of Practical Nursing (founded in 1956), our Finger Lakes College of Nursing and Health Sciences (RN program established in 2008), the partnership with Wayne Technical & Career Center for our New Vision Medical Careers Program and our Certified Nurse Aide training program. We also offer tuition assistance and tuition buy-back initiatives. Yet, there are still many young people in our communities who would benefit from mentoring and being connecting with career and scholarship opportunities.