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Leadership changes at two health centers

Rochester Business Journal
September 27, 2012

Leadership at two area federally qualified clinics is changing.

Anthony L. Jordan Health Center CEO Bridgette Wiefling M.D. plans to leave the clinic to take a job at Rochester General Health System, Wiefling states in a letter sent Wednesday to Jordan Center stakeholders.

Her announcement came the same day as Brockport’s Oak Orchard Community Health Center Inc.’s announcement its longtime president and CEO, David Fisher, is retiring.

Set up by the federal government to help ensure access to medical and dental services for the poor, federally qualified clinics are private non-profits regulated by a special division of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

In a seven-year stint as the Jordan Center’s chief executive, Wiefling managed a financial turnaround of the once-troubled inner-city organization, growing it from a $6 million to a $21 million operation. She also oversaw a merger of the Jordan Center and the also federally qualified but financially challenged Westside Health Services’ operations.

In addition to expanding services and shoring up its once shaky finances, the Jordan Center under Wiefling became one of the earliest area health care providers to implement electronic medical records and plug into the Rochester Regional Health Information Organization’s electronic network.  

Wiefling could not immediately be reached. She did not state in the letter when she plans to exit the Jordan Center or what plans the inner city clinic might have to hire a successor.

In the letter, Wiefling called RGHS’ offer of a job as vice president of clinical innovation a “once in a lifetime opportunity that I did not expect.”

As an RGHS official, Wiefling would “work collaboratively across our system to develop an integrated plan to foster efficiency of services while providing the highest patient care possible,” RGHS president and CEO Mark Clement said.

A Sep. 26 letter to staff and stakeholders from Jordan Center chairman Buddhi Shrestha states the board and Wiefling expect to develop a transition plan over the next two weeks and to name an acting CEO by the end of that period.

Fisher has headed Oak Orchard since 2000 and has worked at the clinic for 15 years, serving first as vice president of finance. He plans to stay on for several months to complete a stint as project manager of a medical and dental center Oak Orchard is developing in Wyoming County.

The Oak Orchard board has named Robert Hendershott interim CEO. A 30-year community health veteran, Hendershott has worked as an executive and as a consultant with migrant worker health centers and other community health providers. 
(c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or e-mail

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