Lomeo Named President and CEO of Kaleida Health

Updated: 4/24/2014

The Kaleida Health Board of Directors has named Jody L. Lomeo president and CEO. Having served as its interim leader since January 31, 2014, Lomeo now assumes full leadership and responsibility for Western New York’s largest healthcare system and largest private employer.

In addition, the Board of Directors of the Great Lakes Health System of WNY also named Lomeo its president and CEO. Great Lakes Health has overseen the ongoing integration and collaboration between Kaleida Health and Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) since 2006.

The respective board leaders point to Lomeo’s experience, his success across both Kaleida Health and ECMCC, along with the significant support from physicians, nurses and employees in making this decision.

“Jody has distinguished himself over the last three months while serving as our interim president and CEO,” said John Koelmel, chair of the Kaleida Health Board of Directors. “The support that he has received from physicians, nurses, staff and the community at-large has been overwhelming. The organization has been re-energized and is again focused on consistently delivering high quality patient care, building productive relationships with all constituents and otherwise leveraging the system’s many strengths to re-establish ourselves as the leading provider of healthcare services in the region. As a result, it was clear that Jody is the right leader at a very critical time for Kaleida Health and our community. The combination of his strong track record at ECMCC, overall leadership skills and passion for the patient positions him very well to lead the organization.”

Since being named to the interim positions in January, Lomeo and his team launched a primary care strategy with ECMCC and HealthNow, are re-engaging key partners including UBMD, Buffalo Medical Group and numerous other community physicians and physician groups, are working to improve quality and care at the bedside, are rebuilding a system-wide management team as well as a new and productive relationship with organized labor.

Lomeo has been an integral part of Great Lakes Health, ECMCC and Kaleida Health for over a decade as they built a strong and collaborative relationship. He was appointed to the ECMCC board in 2001, became chair of the ECMCC Board of Directors in 2003, was named CEO of ECMCC in 2009, and has served as vice chair of Great Lakes Health since its inception in 2006.

Kevin Hogan, chair of the ECMCC Board of Directors, said, “ECMCC's success under Jody Lomeo's leadership has been about community collaboration and a focus on patient care at the bedside. We are proud to be able to bring his inclusive style of leadership across the hospitals of Great Lakes Health and continue to engage physicians, nurses and staff to develop new ways to make our organizations more efficient and deliver even better quality care for our community. This is about three institutions – ECMCC, Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health – speaking with one voice on behalf of our community.”

In addition to being named president and CEO of Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health, Lomeo has stepped down as CEO of ECMCC. That move is intended to accelerate progress toward integration in the most compliant and efficient manner in accordance with New York Public Authority Law.

Richard C. Cleland, as the site president of ECMCC, will assume Lomeo’s day to day duties. Site presidents at each Kaleida Health location will be as follows: Cheryl Klass, Buffalo General Medical Center (including overseeing the Gates Vascular Institute and HighPointe on Michigan); Chris Lane, Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and DeGraff Memorial Hospital; Allegra Jaros, Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo and Judy Baumgartner, the Visiting Nursing Association of WNY.

Hogan added, “The ECMCC Board decided that Jody is far more valuable to the community and the overall system as the president and CEO of Great Lakes Health. He can be more instrumental in the strategic direction of the organizations, rather than just staying solely at ECMCC. This is another sign of the rock solid partnership between Kaleida Health and ECMCC. This is also a win/win for the organizations and the community.”

As president and CEO of Great Lakes Health, Lomeo will provide leadership for all campuses and build a management team that will work together to coordinate care across all Kaleida Health and ECMCC sites. This team will continue the work of the past few months of re-engaging physicians, nurses and staff in transforming the care delivered to patients every day. This collaborative model will create efficiencies in care delivery and lead with quality to improve patient outcomes, as well as re-engineer the system to meet the new healthcare environment.

Lomeo has initiated a national search for a Great Lakes Health chief operating officer (COO) as well. The COO position will have system operational responsibility. The goal is to ensure that the respective hospitals are coordinated, quality-led, patient-focused and cost-efficient.

“We are very fortunate to have someone who understands all three organizations, defines collaboration and understands the challenges of our community. As someone who was born and raised here, Jody understands and cares deeply about Western New York,” said Robert Gioia, the chair of Great Lakes Health System of Western New York Board of Directors. 

Gioia added, “We have heard from all constituencies – employees, physicians, labor, the University at Buffalo (UB), and community leaders - that the leader we need right now, is right in front of us. We have little time to waste, and Jody Lomeo is a proven leader who will help build a system to create the patient centered care we are looking for.”

About his appointment, Lomeo said, “I am humbled and honored to be entrusted by Kaleida Health, ECMCC, UB and Great Lakes Health with this role. For me, this is a greater calling. We are putting individual organizations aside and coordinating care across all sites for the betterment of the patients that we serve. We will lead at the bedside with nursing and physicians, and that focus will help us to continue to bring world class care to the Western New York community. Our culture will be about serving the patient with one focus in mind – the patient. As a native Western New Yorker, I understand the responsibility to our greater community and view this as an opportunity to make a lasting difference for my children and generations to come.”

“On behalf of the 1,800 Kaleida Health physicians, we are proud to support Jody Lomeo,” said George Matthews, MD, a private practice physician and president of the Kaleida Health medical/dental staff. “We are confident in his leadership, we have witnessed his success at ECMCC, and we look forward to him leading Kaleida Health moving forward. He has the talent and ability to position Kaleida Health, ECMCC and Great Lakes Health as the preeminent healthcare organizations in Western New York.”

“UB is proud of our longstanding partnership with Great Lakes Health to enrich the quality of life in our region. We are excited about these new collaborations, which promise to further advance the quality of care in our community and improve clinical training across the system,” said UB President Dr. Satish K. Tripathi. “Jody is an ideal leader to help grow these collaborations as our region’s healthcare institutions work together to build a healthier, stronger Western New York. We look forward to continuing to partner in this effort as we actively bring all of our organizations closer together.”

Lomeo is a native of Buffalo and graduate of UB. Under his leadership, more than $200 million has been invested in the ECMCC campus with the construction of a new long-term care facility, the establishment of a kidney transplant center, and advances in behavioral health and chemical dependency services, including the recent opening of a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence.

“CWA Local 1168 is pleased that the Board of Directors has appointed Jody to the permanent position of president and CEO at Kaleida Health,” said Cori Gambini, RN, president CWA Local 1168. CWA represents thousands of nurses and numerous other job titles across Kaleida Health. “His leadership will provide the stability the healthcare system needs to continue moving forward in providing excellent quality care for our patients and community.”

“1199SEIU is looking forward to working with Jody as the president and CEO,” said Jim Scordato, vice president for the Western New York Hospital division of 1199SEIU. 1199SEIU represents thousands of service workers, RNs, LPNs professionals and technicians across Kaleida Health. “Our goal is to have a productive relationship with leadership; one that helps improve care for patients and moves the organization forward.” 

“Since Jody has become interim president and CEO of Kaleida Health, there is palpable energy from physicians that I have not seen in years,” said L. Nelson Hopkins, distinguished professor of Neurosurgery at UB. “His no nonsense, inclusive style is refreshing, and I look forward to working with him to redesign the way we deliver care. I truly feel we have an administration that will listen and empower us to make decisions that benefit the patient.”

In addition to the capital improvements, Lomeo is credited with stabilizing the operations and financial position of ECMCC, and leading an aggressive campaign to change the public perception of the medical center.

“Jody is a great communicator and has always had an "open door policy,” stated Karen Horlacher, RN, New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) nursing representative for ECMCC. She added, “We look forward to continuing our partnership to improve patient care at the bedside and playing our part to advance healthcare for our entire community.”

Richard Hall, MD, the president of the ECMCC Medical Staff, said, “Our physicians have never enjoyed a better relationship with administration. Jody's inclusive leadership style will continue to be a positive for both ECMCC's and Kaleida Health’s future. We also look forward to continuing to work with the physicians at Kaleida Health as we collaborate to improve patient care.”

“I often talk about Jody across the State as an example of a true collaborator that cares about his employees and his community.  He truly has been a partner with us and, as a result, ECMCC has thrived," stated Fran Turner, director of legislative and political action for the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA). She added, “Today's announcement is good for ECMCC and the entire healthcare community.”

Great Lakes Health was formed in 2006 by order of New York State as a result of the “Berger Commission” study for the purposes of creating an integrated health system with a vibrant ECMCC campus, along with the Kaleida Health campuses, while also integrating physicians through private practices and a partnership with the UB.

“As a member of the Great Lakes Health Board, I have known Jody to be someone who not only advocates physician-led shared decision making, but who really lives it in all of his decision making,” said Michael Cain, MD, vice president for Health Sciences and dean of the UB School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “Jody truly views all physicians, UB/UBMD and community-based, as partners in delivering health care and in our academic health center. I look forward to working with him to serve the patients of our community.”