Board of directors to begin succession planning process
Jody Lomeo, Kaleida Health president and CEO since January 2014, informed the organization in a systemwide email today that he will serve the remaining term of his contract, but will not renew or extend to stay on as CEO.
Lomeo has one year remaining and said he wants to ensure the organization is well positioned to find his successor come 2021.
“It’s been 12 great years now between my time at Kaleida Health and ECMC,” he said “But, it is time for me to get back to my family and spend more time at home. My three boys and my wife have sacrificed so much for me over the years. In fact, they have prioritized their lives to support me. I owe it to them now to be there as they all enter the next phase of their lives.”
Lomeo has been married to his wife, Mary, for more than 25 years. Their three boys are all entering new phases of their lives. Their oldest, John, is a sophomore and in the school of management program at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Their middle son, Vinny, is a high school senior and will be graduating this spring from St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute and will play college football next season. Their youngest, Joe, will enter high school this fall.
“While this really is a personal decision for me and it is about my family, it really is about my other family – Kaleida Health,” Lomeo said. “As we strive to be a best-in-class organization in all that we do, leadership succession planning should be part of that. Kaleida Health and all of our physicians, nurses and staff are more than deserving to have a well-prepared plan for when I leave at the end of the year.”
Frank Curci, chair of Kaleida Health’s board of directors, applauded Lomeo for his decision and discussed the board’s attempts to have Lomeo extend his contract and stay on as CEO for the foreseeable future.
“We offered an extension and we asked him to stay, but we couldn’t get him to change his mind,” Curci said. “Not only do we understand his decision, but we fully support him. It takes an incredibly special person to do what he is doing. He is ensuring that the organization has a smooth transition and that the board has a succession plan in place for when he leaves. Doing this now and giving us a year to prepare speaks to his character and the type of leader that Jody is.”
Lomeo, a current member of the Kaleida Health board of directors, has been asked to not only help assist with the transition, but to consider remaining on the board following his departure as CEO. In addition, he is the current chair-elect of the Greater New York Hospital Association Board of Governors and will assume the chair position in May, fulfilling that term and representing Kaleida Health in the statewide advocacy organization.
Kaleida Health’s board of directors will hire a search firm and will undertake a national search in the coming months to help find the next president and CEO. Internal, local and national candidates will be considered.
Curci added, “We will cast a wide net and consider everything and everybody. This is all about building on the success that we have had over the past six years. Having time and a plan will help ensure that we do it right. Succession planning is incredibly important for all organizations, especially for large and complex ones like Kaleida Health. For now, however, it is business as usual. Jody and his team are in charge and they are ready to continue all of the great work that they have accomplished since he was first named CEO.”
Lomeo joined Kaleida Health as interim CEO in January 2014 and was named to his current position in April that same year.
A Buffalo native, he is also the president and CEO of the Great Lakes Health System of Western New York – the parent organization responsible for integrating the clinical activities of Kaleida Health, Erie County Medical Center Corp. and University at Buffalo.
During his tenure at Kaleida Health, Lomeo has led the organization through a remarkable transformation, improving quality of care, increasing market share, improving physician and employee relations, recording budget surpluses, increasing philanthropy and facilitating new construction.
Most notably he led the planning, financing and construction of the $270 million John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, the Visiting Nursing Association of Western New York’s new Erie County headquarters, plus expansions and program additions at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital and the Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute.
A press release said, “He has energized the organization through his style of collaboration and inclusive leadership. His focus on engaging physicians, nurses and staff has fostered new ways to deliver more efficient, high-quality patient care. Lomeo has also facilitated the acquisition, affiliation and partnerships with numerous physicians, hospitals and health care systems. Combined, that impact of these various entities is over $2.0 billion in revenue with 13,000 employees and over 2,000 physicians.”
Prior to coming to Kaleida Health, Lomeo served as CEO of ECMC. He had spent eight years as a board member there before being recruited to serve as its leader in July 2008. His focus on patient care and the community was a driving force in the hospital’s rebirth and renaissance. Lomeo initiated talks with the County of Erie, leading to two historic agreements that have stabilized the county’s finances while ensuring ECMC remain autonomous and financially independent. In addition to this, Lomeo was also instrumental in negotiating unprecedented agreements with the New York State Nursing Association and CSEA.
In prioritizing the community’s interests, Lomeo was able to implement several physician-led clinical improvements on the ECMC campus. New programs and facilities involving head and neck surgery, breast surgery, and orthopedics, as well as a primary care network of providers have become a part of today’s ECMC – all credited to Lomeo’s leadership.
A new Center of Excellence in Transplantation and Renal Care and the new Terrace View Long Term Care facility has been joined by a Center of Excellence in Behavioral Health on the ECMC campus. Nearly $200 million of new construction occurred at ECMC under Lomeo, generating new economic development above the impact that this $500 million entity provides through annual operations.
Lomeo concluded by saying, “When I came to Kaleida Health six years ago, I told the board three things: my family will always come first; that I will give the organization everything that I have if they understand that core belief of mine; and finally, that there is a time and place for everyone, including the CEO. It has been a remarkable ride in my time here. The organization is well positioned moving forward and the next leader will be fortunate to work this incredible Kaleida Health family and workforce.”