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Kaleida Health Announces Several Leadership Appointments

Released: 7/28/2022 2:00:00 PM

Kaleida Health today announced several leadership changes designed to further drive operational integration and fill essential positions within our organization.

Cheryl Klass, BSN, MBA, RN, has been named chief operating officer and nurse executive (COO/CNE) for Kaleida Health.

Klass has been serving as the interim president of Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute (BGMC/GVI) since February 2022.

Named Kaleida Health’s chief nursing executive in 2016, Klass is credited for creating, organizing and overseeing the organization’s first ever nursing plan of excellence. The plan resulted in improved nursing operations, nurse engagement, and care quality.

Klass came to Kaleida Health in 2004 when she was recruited to serve as president of the then Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo. It was a homecoming of sorts as she originally launched her nursing career at the Bryant Street facility as a staff registered nurse in 1977.

In December 2011, Klass was appointed senior vice president of operations, Buffalo General Medical Center, which also includes the Gates Vascular Institute and HighPointe on Michigan. She also oversaw Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo at that time as well.

Klass began her career as a registered nurse at Children's Hospital of Buffalo in 1977, but quickly advanced into nursing leadership roles that included director of the pediatric, surgical and critical care divisions of the hospital. She also eventually served as the chief nursing officer of Children's Hospital for many years before relocating to Chicago in 1993 to accept the role of chief operating officer for Children's Memorial Medical Center, part of the Northwestern Healthcare System.

Klass returned to Buffalo in 2000 and served as the chief operating officer of Mercy Hospital of Buffalo and chief operating officer of Sisters Hospital of Buffalo, as well as vice president of Women's Health for the Catholic Health System, before returning to Children's in 2004.

From a physician leadership perspective, Michael Mineo, MD, has been appointed chief medical officer (CMO) for Kaleida Health after serving in the interim role since March 2022.

Dr. Mineo previously served as the CMO at BGMC/GVI. Prior to that, he was the CMO at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital/DeGraff Medical Park. In addition, he previously served as senior physician for UBMD Emergency Medicine Community Division and the Patient Safety and Quality Medical Officer for Suburban and DeGraff Hospitals.

At the site physician leadership level, Michael Beecher, MD, has been named CMO of BGMC/GVI. In this role, which he has held on an interim basis since June 2022, Dr. Beecher will oversee day-to-day medical affairs at BGMC/GVI. Working with service line leaders, administration and nursing leadership, he will ensure the hospital is operating efficiently, including things such as the operating rooms, length of stay, patient access, residency programs and more.

Board certified in internal medicine, Dr. Beecher was the director of hospitalist services at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital as well as chief medical officer for Infinity Medical of WNY. In addition, he served as president of Kaleida Health’s Medical/Dental Staff and as a member of the Kaleida Health Board of Directors from 2020-2022. Prior to being elected president of the Medical/Dental Staff, he spent 10 years serving as an elected member of the Medical Executive Committee.

Raheel Ahmad, DO, was named CMO of Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital (MFSH) and DeGraff Medical Park (DMP), a role he has held on an interim basis since March 2022. Dr. Ahmad will be responsible for day-to-day physician leadership, quality and operations needs at MFSH and DMP.

He previously served as site medical director at MFSH. Since 2014, he has been working with Infinity Medical of WNY in providing inpatient services at MFSH and had served as the MFSH site director for the group since August 2016.

From an operational standpoint, Allegra Jaros, president of Oishei Children’s Hospital, will now have oversight of Kaleida Health’s long-term care services, including HighPointe on Michigan and DeGraff Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Facility.

In addition, Judy Baumgartner, president of MFSH/DMP, will again oversee Kaleida Health Laboratories. Baumgartner previously oversaw the labs when she served as president of the Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York.