Catholic Health has announced Gary C. Tucker, FACHE, will be named president and CEO of Mount St. Mary's Hospital and Health Center when the hospital joins the health system July 1. Tucker currently serves as senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Lewiston hospital.
"We are very fortunate to have Gary leading the hospital as it begins a new chapter in its service to the residents of Niagara County," said Joe McDonald, president and CEO of Catholic Health. "He not only possesses invaluable clinical and operational experience, but his knowledge of the hospital and the local community will be a tremendous asset as Mount St. Mary's joins the Catholic Health family."
Tucker will take over the position from Judy Maness, who will be stepping down as president and CEO of Mount St. Mary's Hospital after more than 18 years with the organization.
"Gary and I have worked together for almost 10 years, and he is a smart, talented and energetic agent for change," Maness said. "I have full confidence in his ability to oversee Mount St. Mary's successful integration with Catholic Health, so it can finally take its place among the other Catholic Health ministries in Western New York."
"Although Gary came to Western New York originally from Arizona, in his tenure here, he has learned what is important to our community through his service on several local community boards and through his engagement with our physicians," Maness continued. "He has earned the trust of our physicians and his colleagues. Through the challenges we have faced together, I know Gary is committed to Mount St. Mary's, our community and the success of Catholic Health. His mind is quick and sharp, and his heart is full of compassion for the work we do and the people who do it every day. I am pleased that he is taking this next step in his career."
Tucker's association with Mount St. Mary's dates back to 2006, when he served as interim COO. He was named senior vice president and COO in 2008, assuming responsibility for hospital operations and clinical services. During his tenure as COO, he has been part of an administrative team that has helped the hospital achieve financial and operational success, including positive operating margins in seven of the past eight years, the growth of physician provider practices and the development of the Center for Women.
"Mount St. Mary's pending transition to Catholic Health is going to bring tremendous benefits to our community, and Gary Tucker is the perfect individual to lead Mount St. Mary's at this time," said Carmen A. Granto, chairman of the Mount St. Mary's board of trustees. "The community volunteer trustees on our board have been impressed with the operational excellence and quality that Gary's team has brought us. He has worked closely with Judy Maness in the consistent growth of Mount St. Mary's, and this appointment allows him to continue that work for our community."
A health care executive with more than 35 years of clinical and administrative experience, Tucker began his career as a registered nurse in 1978 and held various management and administrative positions in Texas, Oklahoma and Arizona. Prior to joining Mount St. Mary's, he operated his own health care consulting firm based in Glendale, Arizona. He also served as vice president of patient care services for Sun Health Corporation in Sun City, Arizona.
A Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, Tucker received his bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing from the University of Texas-Arlington. He completed the Johnson & Johnson Wharton Fellows Program for Nurse Executives at the University of Pennsylvania. In addition, he obtained a graduate certificate for Catholic Healthcare Ministry Leadership jointly awarded by the Aquinas Institute of Theology and Ascension Health.
A resident of Grand Island, Tucker is presently a member of the Grand Island Lion's Club and serves on the board of directors for the Health Association of Niagara County and Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara Foundation.
"Mount St. Mary's has done well under Gary's operational leadership, and we expect that success to continue," McDonald said. "He is well respected by hospital associates, physicians and patients alike, and we look forward to having him join our Catholic Health leadership team."
Transition teams made up of representatives from Catholic Health and Mount St. Mary's will continue to work over the next several weeks to integrate clinical services and operational functions between the two organizations. While this work is expected to continue well into 2016, plans are on track to have Mount St. Mary's become a full member of Catholic Health July 1.
"We have been blessed to have the leadership and guiding presence of Judy Maness throughout this process," McDonald said. "We owe a great debt of gratitude to Judy for all she has done for the hospital and the Niagara community during the past 18 years, and for her generous support throughout this transition. We wish her all the best in the future."