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Wayne Post
  • Clifton Springs hospital: CEO replaced by 'mutual agreement'

  • Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic spokesman Ethan Fogg said Wednesday the departure of the hospital’s longtime CEO, John Galati, was due to a “mutual agreement with the board and Mr. Galati.”

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  • Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic spokesman Ethan Fogg said Wednesday the departure of the hospital’s longtime CEO, John Galati, was due to a “mutual agreement with the board and Mr. Galati.”
    In a press release Wednesday, the hospital announced it had appointed general surgeon Dr. Lewis Zulick as interim chief executive officer. He replaces Galati, who had been president and CEO for 18 years.
    Galati did not return a phone message left by the Messenger Wednesday.
    Fogg would not elaborate on the reason for the change in leadership.
    Zulick’s appointment took effect Jan. 18. He has been the hospital’s chief medical officer for 11 years.
    The hospital stated it “does not intend to open a search for a permanent CEO at this time.” Fogg said,“It is not that we will never search, but we will not in the short-term look for” a CEO. “We have decided to see how this goes; we are asking these people to do more and we want to see if this is a model,” Fogg said.
    The new arrangement includes the appointment of registered nurse Donna Smith as chief operating officer/chief nursing officer. Fogg said Smith has been chief nursing officer for a number of years and “she is very much a doer.” With Zulick remaining on the surgical team, “it wouldn’t make sense to put everything on the CEO’s plate,” Fogg said.
    The change at the helm of the hospital and clinic, which has operated as an independent health system since its founding in 1850, prompted questions about the general health of the organization. Rural hospitals in particular have become vulnerable in recent years, under the pressures of mounting health-care costs, need for costly upgrades to keep up with technology and other challenges.
    In June, Thompson Health in Canandaigua became an affiliate of the University of Rochester Medical Center, one of the state’s largest integrated academic health centers, which includes Strong Memorial, Highland and Golisano Children's hospitals. Officials said the agreement meant more patients would be able to benefit from the offerings at each institution, accessing many levels of care at a variety of locations and in an expansion of what both health systems already do in medical and surgical specialties such as cardiology, neurosurgery, oncology and imaging.
    Fogg said discussions have taken place for years about Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic affiliating with another health organization.
    “We have remained independent,” said Fogg, adding that has been due in part to the organization’s care in making business decisions.
    Fogg said the organization has maintained its number of employees at about 775 and has no plans to reduce or significantly change its workforce.
    Page 2 of 2 - Referring to the leadership change, Clinton Emery, board co-chairman for Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic, stated in the press release that Galati “has made many contributions towards maintaining and improving healthcare for our community."
    Emery further stated: “We have successfully maintained modern facilities, a dedicated staff, and delivered high quality care within a full service hospital all under John’s leadership. We all recognize John’s contribution and appreciate his many years of dedication and service. We extend to John our best wishes in his new endeavors.”
    He added, “The Board further appreciates Dr. Zulick’s acceptance of the interim CEO position. Dr. Zulick will continue to practice as a successful general surgeon within the region as he fulfills the duties of interim CEO for the Hospital. I am very confident that with both Dr. Zulick and Donna Smith in leadership roles we will continue to serve the needs of our community well and maintain our high standards in providing quality healthcare services.”
     
     
     

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