When Jody L. Lomeo assumed the posts of president and chief executive at Kaleida Health in early 2014, the giant hospital system faced major challenges.
Among other things, it had lost $15 million the previous year and earnings seemed in free fall. It was seeing smaller, outlying hospitals link up with competing hospital networks. There was also a monumental project to complete – the move of Women and Children's Hospital into a yet-to-be constructed new Oishei Children's Hospital.
Lomeo and his staff had their hands full.
A key example: The hospital system – which includes Buffalo General Medical Center, Gates Vascular Institute, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and DeGraff Memorial Hospital – needed the Department of Housing and Urban Development to insure a $120 million mortgage loan for the new pediatric facility. The agency was reluctant to entertain the idea with Kaleida Health finances in such questionable shape. Without government backing for the project, the success of a campaign to raise funds from the public was at risk, as well.
Management's hard work and persistence, under Lomeo's leadership, paid off. Kaleida Health got the loan and raised $55 million from the public.
In November, the hospital system relocated 125 patients to the new facility on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in an operation that required months of painstaking preparation. Soon afterward, the old Women & Children’s Hospital campus on Bryant Street was handed over to a development team led by Nick Sinatra and William A. Paladino for a reuse project.
Lomeo, who had previously served as chief executive officer of Erie County Medical Center, also guided Kaleida Health in developing partnerships, an important trend for large and small institutions to survive the financial, regulatory and technological changes in health care.
Brooks Memorial Hospital in Dunkirk and TLC Health Network’s Lake Shore Health Care Center in Irving plan to merge and affiliate with the larger hospital network. Meanwhile, Kaleida Health has become the active parent of the Upper Allegheny Health System, which includes Olean General Hospital. Similarly, Kaleida became the active parent of Eastern Niagara Hospital in an arrangement that allows the smaller facilities to remain independent but collaborate with the larger organization.
Story topics: Outstanding Citizens