Merged health system to get new CEO

By WILL ASTOR - 6/3/2014

The chief executives at Rochester General Health System and Unity Health System are not candidates for CEO of the merged organization. A search for a new CEO has commenced.

Unity president and CEO Warren Hern and RGHS president and CEO Mark Clement have taken themselves out of the running for the post, officials announced Tuesday.

In a move Clement and Hern themselves suggested some 15 months ago, the pair will serve as co-CEOs for as little as six months after the merger finalizes. They will bow out after a new CEO is named, RGHS chairman Robert Dobies said.

Hern said he and Clement would be available as consultants during the transition period to help orient the new CEO.

Recently given the green light by the state Department of Health and the Federal Trade Commission, the RGHS-Unity merger is expected to be completed in mid-July. It will combine the region’s second- and third-largest health systems, creating a regional health care network spanning four counties.

With some 14,000 workers, the merged system—still unnamed—will become the region’s second-largest employer, topped only by the University of Rochester. UR’s more than 20,000 employees include roughly 14,000 at its medical center.

Hern and Clement said they believed the merged organization would be best served by a new leader.

“It is the right thing to do to identify a new CEO to inspire and lead the vision for the new system,” Clement said.  

Dobies named a leadership team roughly evenly split between Unity and RGHS administrative and clinical executives that would immediately begin to serve as the merged system’s top managers.

The appointees are:

Unity and RGHS previously agreed on a four-officer slate of directors to guide the merged system. Dobies chairs the new board. Unity board chairman Michael Nuccitelli is its vice chairman. Unity board member Faheem Masood is the new board’s treasurer; RGHS board member Robert Sands is secretary.

The CEO search is hoped to be completed by the end of the year, Dobie said.

Also expected by year’s end, Clement said, is the incorporation into the merged system of Clifton Springs Hospital and Clinic in Ontario County and United Memorial Health System in Genesee County. Both are in the process of merging with RGHS.  

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