When Kevin O'Connell bid farewell in July as a Channel 2 weatherman, the veteran broadcaster said he wasn't ready to retire.
He wasn't kidding.
O'Connell has been hired by Catholic Health Systems to fill a new role as its chief of community connections. He started today, said JoAnn Cavanaugh, a Catholic Health spokeswoman.
In his new job, O'Connell will "focus on creating new ties between the health system, community service organizations and area residents to raise awareness for Catholic Health’s programs and health initiatives, and to deepen the system’s understanding of how to best meet the needs of the community," said Mark Sullivan, Catholic Health's president and CEO.
Catholic Health hopes O'Connell's long ties to the Buffalo Niagara community and his involvement with community service during his 43-year career as a broadcaster can help it "shape a new vision for serving our community," Sullivan said in a statement Wednesday announcing O'Connell's hiring.
“No one loves this community more than me," O'Connell said in the statement. "I am sure that working together with Mark Sullivan and his team of health care professionals, we will be able to gain community insight and create opportunities that will have a positive impact on the health of area families."
O'Connell left Channel 2 in mid-July after his contract expired. During his long broadcasting career, he has been a disc jockey, a news anchor, a weather anchor and a game show host in Los Angeles. The Buffalo native started in radio during the 1960s and spent the last 25 years at WGRZ-TV.