The senior leadership of Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York (LERHSNY) celebrated a year of accomplishment and focused attention on future plans during its annual meeting held recently at The White Inn.
During the program, LERHSNY President and CEO Jonathan I. Lawrence, MHA, FACHE, announced new board trustees, recognized retiring members for their service and welcomed new TLC Foundation members. Among the new trustees introduced at this meeting were Virginia Horvath, Ph.D. and Mark Andrew Burr. Dr. Horvath was appointed as the new President of SUNY Fredonia on April 29 and will begin her new position on July 1. Burr has served on the Lake Shore Hospital Foundation Board since 2005. He has been on the faculty at the SUNY Fredonia as an instructor of economics since 2008 and holds a master's degree in economics from the University of Buffalo. He is also a financial consultant for AXA Advisors in Williamsville.
In recognition for their years of service on the Board of Trustees and commitment to healthcare in the community, both Dennis L. Hefner, Ph.D. and Craig L. Brown were presented with commemorative plaques. Dr. Hefner was recognized by LERHSNY officials as "a visionary and exemplary leader not only in education and economic development but in the creation of LERHSNY."
During the meeting, officials said LERHSNY has benefitted from Dr. Hefner's professional expertise and involvement in the community as well as his advocacy for quality healthcare and access to medical professionals, technology and services.
Brown was also recognized for his distinguished contributions and a career on the LERHSNY Board that began in 1990. His committee memberships have included Finance, Executive, Quality and Personnel. Officials commended Brown for his dedication noting that, despite being legally blind, his commitment to improving healthcare in the local area earned him the Healthcare Trustees of NY State Leadership Award in 2005.
Also during the annual meeting, new TLC Foundation members welcomed included Margaret Lawrence of Forestville and the Hon. Karen Strickland of South Dayton.
During his address, Lawrence reported on several notable accomplishments for the health system in the recent past, including the opening of Gowanda Urgent Care & Medical Center on Commercial Street. The CEO said demolition of the former Tri-County Memorial Hospital was continuing following the flooding two years ago in Gowanda and that significant progress had been made to date in planning for a new facility in Perrysburg. Forthcoming plans are also under way this summer for a ribbon cutting at the new medical center in Forestville.
Lawrence also noted that physician recruitment has been an ongoing priority for meeting the needs of the local community. For that purpose, Lake Erie Medical Services, P.C., was formed to help recruit and hire physicians. Recently, Obstetrician/Gynecologist Tawsufe Majid, MD, was hired in Dunkirk, and plans are to add his wife Saima Ashraf to the staff this fall. Lawrence also mentioned the addition of two new Chief Operating Officers to the management team over the past year: Jarrod Johnson, MBA, FACHE, at Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk and Linda Summers, MBA, FACHE, at TLC Health Care Network in Irving.
Guests at the event included physicians, trustees, foundation board members and hospital staff. In addition, those in attendance included representatives from UPMC Hamot, marking the announcement of the signing of a letter of intent between LERHSNY and the organization to enter into a landmark strategic affiliation. UPMC Hamot officials included V. James Fiorenzo, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer; Gary M. Maras, Senior Vice President of Business Development; and Valarie Jackson, Director of Regional Business Development. LERHSNY officials said a formal agreement on the affiliation is expected to be signed shortly, once all details are finalized.