I was recently elected to the Board of Regents at Le Moyne College, my alma mater. Throughout my undergraduate career, a lesson shared was Mahatma Gandhi’s quote, “be the change you wish to see in the world.” That phrase and its enduring lesson was emblazoned upon my soul during my time as a Dolphin.
Almost eight years ago, I took that quote to heart and ran for office. In 2012, through the democratic process I was elected clerk of Oswego County. I kept Gandhi’s quote close to my heart and have continued to be an agent for change whenever possible. Perhaps that pursuit has now caught up with me, as a volunteer passion has now become a professional opportunity that I am excited to take on.
After several discussions with Michael Harlovic, president and CEO of Oswego Health, the Board of Directors led by Ellen Holst, Atom Avery, Ed Alberts, and many other community partners, I have accepted the position of chief operating officer and executive vice president. I will begin work with Oswego Health on Sept. 8, 2020.
While leaving the county workforce is bittersweet, I am eternally hopeful and certain of at least one thing: I am certain that I am leaving the county clerk’s office in tremendous hands. Matthew Bacon, deputy county clerk, is more than ready to take over until another clerk can be elected. He is a consummate professional and the most knowledgeable person working in a clerk’s office in New York state. He will lead this office with distinction, and together with all the other staff throughout the clerk’s office, the DMVs and the Records Center, Oswego County will be well served.
Some of my proudest moments as county clerk have been the calls and emails from other counties asking us, mostly Matt, how we do what we do. Setting that example for others is part of being “the change” as Gandhi said, and I’m honored to have been part of that process in Oswego County.
I must also recognize the Board of Directors and administration at ConnextCare, formerly known as NOCHSI, for helping spur my passion for health care. Twelve years ago, I met Dan Dey, CEO of ConnextCare, at a health care roundtable in Watertown, New York.
A year after that conversation, I joined the Board of Directors and have progressed along to my current role as chairman of the board. In addition, I have also served on the Oswego Health Board of Directors since 2016. I’m honored to have helped both organizations, especially serving on behalf of ConnextCare as a member of the legislative advocacy committee for the National Association of Community Health Centers.
At Oswego Health there are many challenges awaiting me as COVID-19 has affected every part of our community. Thankfully, Oswego Health is strategically positioned to meet those challenges with patient-centered, state-of-the-art, quality care.
With a newly renovated hospital, a soon-to-open behavioral health complex, new orthopedic specialties, two of the best-run long-term care facilities in the region, and, most importantly, a dedicated local workforce, I believe the best days of Oswego Health are ahead.
I am excited to get started and thankful for the opportunity to join such a tremendous team providing critical health care services, “right at home.”