Highland Hospital executive to retire in December  

Cindy Becker, Highland Hospital’s chief operating officer and vice president, has announced that she will be retiring from her position in early December to spend more time with her family. 

Cindy Becker, Highland Hospital’s chief operating officer and vice president, has announced that she will be retiring.

“Working together, we’ve helped millions of people lead healthier lives,” Becker said. “We have created a unique and very special culture that serves a higher purpose for our patients, their families and our employees and providers. I am confident that this will endure.” 

Becker has been employed at Highland Hospital since 1988 and has served as vice president and COO since 1999. 

During that time, the hospital grew significantly – from an average of 50 to 60 patients in 1999 to nearly 24,000 discharges, 43,000 emergency department visits and 14,000 operating room cases in 2021. The hospital occupancy now regularly meets or exceeds its licensed 261-bed capacity. 

Among the milestones achieved with the leadership team during her tenure, are:  

  • Adding major service lines such as Women’s Health, Geriatrics, Oncology and Orthopaedics;
  • Adding signature programs such as Evarts Joint Center, the Geriatric Fracture Center, the Bariatric Surgery Center, OB/GYN and GYN Oncology and Highland Family Medicine;
  • Achieving multiple Joint Commission certifications for Evarts Joint Center, Geriatric Fracture Center, Gynecologic Oncology and Palliative Care;
  • Achieving Magnet designation in 2009 and re-designation in 2016 and 2021, multiple clinical Centers of Excellence Awards, and most recently certification as an Age-Friendly Health System participant and a LGBTQ+ Healthcare Equality Top Performer by the Human Rights Alliance;
  • Opening the Hartfelder Family Maternity Center, Endoscopy Center, Medical Oncology and Infusion Center, added six additional operating rooms to total 17, an Observation Unit and multiple satellite locations for Women’s Health, Primary Care and Cardiology;
  • Starting the largest expansion in Highland’s history, a new patient tower that will add 80,000 square feet of clinical space and 58 private patient rooms, enabling the hospital to reach a strategic goal of providing nearly all private patient rooms for its patients, and
  • Responding to the community’s needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Cindy epitomizes excellence in leadership, compassion in community advocacy and commitment to Highland Hospital, the patients it serves and its employees and providers,” said Steven I. Goldstein, Highland Hospital’s president and CEO. “I serve as president and CEO of Highland, but I can attest that it’s because of Cindy’s leadership that Highland has a reputation as a high-quality community hospital known for its patient- and family-centered, compassionate care.” 

[email protected] / (585) 653-4021 

Report: Highland Hospital among best for not ordering unnecessary tests

Highland Hospital has been named among the top hospitals nationwide in a new study that looked at avoiding unnecessary hospital tests and procedures.

The Lown Institute Hospitals Index ranked the Rochester hospital fourth among nearly 3,200 facilities nationwide, behind just Scott County Hospital in Scott City, Kansas; Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston; and West River Regional Medical Center in Hettinger, N.D.

The institute found that more than 1 million tests and procedures performed in hospitals on Medicare patients from 2016 to 2018 met established criteria for overuse. Among the 12 low-value services measured, hysterectomy for benign disease, the placement of coronary stents for stable heart disease, and diagnostic tests like head imaging for fainting were particularly widespread, with more than 90 percent of hospitals overusing these tests or procedures.

“Overuse in American hospitals is a pervasive problem that needs to be addressed,” said Vikas Saini M.D., president of the Lown Institute. “Hospitals want to do better and these objective measures of performance can help them move forward.”

The nation’s top hospitals for avoiding overuse are not the most well-known institutions in the country, but regional health care providers, the report notes. Providers in the southern U.S. are absent from the list of top hospitals and, in fact, occupy the bottom five positions on the list.

Out of the 50 top-performing hospitals, nine are in New England and 10 in the Pacific Northwest, making those regions stand out at the top of the list. The South was home to 41 of the 50 lowest-performing hospitals, with five of the bottom 10 located in Florida, the report’s authors noted.

The Cleveland Clinic (58th) was the only hospital from the current U.S. News honor roll to break into the Lown top 100 for avoiding overuse.

Other notable findings:

• Nationwide, 64 percent of hysterectomies analyzed met established criteria for overuse. In North Dakota and Wyoming, the rate of hysterectomy overuse was 90 percent and 94 percent, respectively.
• Nearly one in four coronary stent procedures met established criteria for overuse nationwide. As many as 200,000 patients may have had stents placed unnecessarily over the years studied.
• Vertebroplasty, a procedure to inject cement into the spine, which has been found to be ineffective for osteoporosis-related fractures in numerous trials, is still overused by many hospitals. In Florida, more than 3,600 vertebroplasties were performed in the years studied.

The Lown Institute was founded in 1973 by Nobel Peace Prize winner Bernard Lown M.D., developer of the defibrillator and cardioverter.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
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Highland Hospital recognizes physician, advanced practice provider of the year

Highland Hospital is recognizing Sunil Bansal M.D. as Physician of the Year, and Andrea Avidano as Advanced Practice Provider of the Year.

Sunil Bansal M.D.
Sunil Bansal M.D.

Bansal serves as assistant medical director and ultrasound director in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Highland. He also is an assistant professor of clinical emergency medicine, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. Bansal was nominated for the prestigious award, also called Distinguished Physician Award, by administrators, colleagues and other co-workers for healthcare excellence.

“I’m truly honored to be selected for this award,” Bansal said. “Highland Hospital has been my sole place of practice for nearly 10 years. It is the collegial and patient-centered environment that allows medical professionals to thrive. I’m proud to practice at Highland Hospital Emergency Department, and look forward to many more years to come.”

Nominator Timothy Lum M.D. said he regards Bansal as one of the “finest, most skilled physicians with whom I have ever worked.”

“He embodies the highest virtues of our profession and I am proud to be his colleague,” Lum said.

Andrea Avidano
Andrea Avidano

Advanced Practice Provider Avidano has served as an adult nurse practitioner at Highland since 2009.

“Highland equals family,” Avidano said. “I love that everyone knows each other. We’re able to share information and show the ICARE values with each other and our patients.”

Avidano also was nominated by several colleagues for the award.

“Andrea Avidano is the epitome of professional excellence and behavior,” said Youngrin Kim M.D., chief hospitalist. “She is always very happy and eager to help in her role as an Endocrinology consultant. Her clinical judgment is spot on. As a result of her excellent knowledge base, judgment and compassion, our patients and providers at Highland benefit immensely.”

Bansal and Avidano will be recognized during an awards ceremony at the hospital and at a Highland board of directors meeting.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
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McCann wins Highland Hospital Foundation honor

Former Highland Hospital board Chairman Robert McCann M.D. has been honored with the Highland Hospital Foundation’s 2019 Heritage Award.

Robert McCann
Robert McCann

The Heritage Award is the highest honor given by the foundation for philanthropic contributions. It honors an organization or individual that plays a significant role at the hospital and in the Rochester community through their time, talent and financial support.

“Bob McCann embodies everything that makes Highland Hospital so special and valuable to our community,” foundation Chairman Ned Nicosia said in a statement. “He has been Highland’s biggest cheerleader and supporter, extremely generous with his time, talent and financial support. We are so pleased to give Dr. McCann the highest honor given by the Highland Hospital Foundation.”

McCann, a longtime member of the Highland Hospital board, has played an integral role in Rochester’s health care community for more than three decades and has received a number of accolades for his contributions. He is regarded as a national and international expert in geriatric and end-of-life care and has served as chief of medicine at Highland Hospital for nearly 20 years.

McCann also serves as CEO of Accountable Health Partners.

“I have a profound commitment to Highland—our people, programs, patients and their families,” McCann said. “It’s important for all of us to collaborate and contribute our time and financial resources in support of this vibrant community hospital.”

Past recipients of the Heritage Award include David Sischy, Linda Maxion, Thomas and Betty Richards and more. This year’s award was presented at a ceremony Dec. 4 at the Genesee Valley Club.

[email protected] / 585-653-4021
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Anolik named URMC CFO

Adam P. Anolik, who has been interim chief financial officer at the University of Rochester Medical Center since June, is taking the “interim” off his title this week.

The appointment was announced Thursday by Dr. Mark Taubman, the medical center’s CEO.

“Adam’s unparalleled knowledge and experience with the inner workings of an academic medical center make him uniquely qualified for this position,” Taubman said. Anolik has worked in finance at URMC for nearly 20 years. “Throughout his career, he has proven himself a creative and innovative financial strategist, leading teams across the medical center to deliver results that have kept our institution thriving and positioned for success.”

In his past roles, Anolik was CFO of Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals, and oversaw the financial management of URMC’s regional strategy and affiliate health care entities. Anolik will continue to be CFO of Highland Hospital.

Adam P. Anolik. Photo supplied by URMC
Adam P. Anolik. Photo supplied by URMC

Anolik is married to Dr. Jennifer Anolik, associate professor of medicine in the UR Division of Allergy/Immunology and Rheumatology, and she directs UR Medicine’s Lupus Clinic. The couple live in Brighton and have two grown daughters.

Anolik became interim CFO when David Kirshner stepped down in June. Carrie Fuller Spencer, director of financial services at Strong Memorial Hospital, has been appointed interim CFO of Strong.