Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) - Kaleida CEO James Kaskie is no longer with the health conglomerate, and will be replaced by Erie County Medical Center's CEO Jody Lomeo as head of both Kaleida and their shared parent organization Great Lakes Health.
Kaskie resigned after the Kaleida Health Board of Directors voted unanimously that a change in leadership was necessary.
John Koelmel, chair of the Kaleida Health board of directors and a member of the Great Lakes Health board says, “During Jim’s 10-year tenure as CEO, Kaleida’s accomplishments have been many, including the opening of the world-class Gates Vascular Institute (GVI), the consolidation of Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital with Buffalo General Medical Center, the creation of centers of excellence in collaboration with ECMC, the expansion of Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, the unprecedented growth of the Visiting Nursing Association of WNY, and the tremendous momentum for construction of a new Children’s Hospital. We – and the entire community – owe Jim a significant debt of gratitude.”
Regarding the naming of Lomeo in the oversight role, Koelmel says “Jody defines collaboration."
Lomeo's new job will be anything but permanent. Koelmel said on Friday that there is no permanent CEO job as of now, instead they are using this time to re-evaluate and restructure their business model. Rumors say part of that restructuring could include layoffs. Koelmel would not confirm that there would be layoffs but did say that staffing levels would have to be in line with the volume of patients that come in.
Here is the complete release from Kaleida Health:
James R. Kaskie, president and chief executive officer of Kaleida Health and the Great Lakes Health System of Western New York, has resigned, effective immediately, from his leadership position in both organizations. Jody Lomeo, CEO of ECMC and vice chair of Great Lakes Health, has been named interim CEO of both Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health while continuing in his role at ECMC.
John Koelmel, chair of the Kaleida Health board of directors and a member of the Great Lakes Health board, thanked Kaskie for his outstanding service to Kaleida Health, Great Lakes Health and the community.
Said Koelmel, “During Jim’s 10-year tenure as CEO, Kaleida’s accomplishments have been many, including the opening of the world-class Gates Vascular Institute (GVI), the consolidation of Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital with Buffalo General Medical Center, the creation of centers of excellence in collaboration with ECMC, the expansion of Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, the unprecedented growth of the Visiting Nursing Association of WNY, and the tremendous momentum for construction of a new Children’s Hospital. We – and the entire community – owe Jim a significant debt of gratitude.”
Koelmel said naming Lomeo to succeed Kaskie on an interim basis is a next step in continuing to advance the importance of the vision and mission of a more fully integrated Great Lakes Health System of Western New York. Lomeo’s appointment was unanimously approved by all three boards.
“Jody defines collaboration,” said Koelmel. “What ECMC has achieved under his leadership has been outstanding and we are confident he has earned the trust of those working across Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health that will enable him to work with our executive team and to guide us through this important transition. The foundation is in place to build the leading healthcare system in the region. I know I speak for all three boards in making clear our continuing commitment to maximize our combined assets under one integrated system for the greater good of our community.”
He continued, “We’re confident that Jody will be a leader of leaders and enable us to not only maintain our momentum, but in fact, further the critically important progress needed to put even more of the pieces of the puzzle together.”
Robert Gioia, chair of the Great Lakes Health board, echoed Koelmel’s comments. “Jim was the right man at the right time when New York State, coming out of the Berger Commission, mandated the creation of the Great Lakes Health System of WNY. Starting from scratch, he led the formation and set the stage for building a better health care system for our region. Jim helped bring the three key partners together — Kaleida Health, ECMC and the University at Buffalo — in a collaborative, straightforward manner and set the stage for the future. We now look forward to moving to the next level.”
Kaskie was recruited to Kaleida Health in 2004, and was named president and CEO in 2006. He was named CEO of Great Lakes Health in 2007.
Lomeo is a native of Buffalo and graduate of the University at Buffalo. He has been CEO of ECMC since 2009 and has served as vice chair of Great Lakes since its formation. Under his leadership, more than $200 million care has been invested in the ECMC campus with the construction of a new long-term nursing facility, the establishment of a kidney transplant center, and advances in mental health and chemical dependency services, including the recent opening of a Behavioral Health Center of Excellence. In addition to the capital improvements, Lomeo is credited with stabilizing the operations and financial position of ECMC, and leading an aggressive campaign to change the public perception of the medical center.
Lomeo said, “As I’ve said many times, Great Lakes Health represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get it right in health care for our community. We have tremendous assets here including our world-class facilities, a strong partnership with the UB Medical School, out-patient services, and most importantly, our physicians, nursing staffs and tremendous employee teams that deliver the highest quality care every day for the benefit of the patients they serve. I look forward to bringing to Kaleida Health and Great Lakes Health and this critically important mission the same leadership that has fostered ECMC’s success over the last five years.”
Kevin Hogan, chair of the ECMC board of directors, said Lomeo’s leadership at ECMC has benefited the entire community.
“Jody has built bridges in every direction while ECMC has made tremendous strides over the last five years, and we are confident his leadership will benefit all of Great Lakes Health during this next phase of growth and transition,” said Hogan. “We definitely need to make even more progress in advancing the Great Lakes vision. We have an obligation to deliver even higher quality health care to the residents of Western New York.”