LaRowe has worked in healthcare for more than 30 years, including 25 years in administration and leadership with the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS), Westfield Memorial Hospital, United Memorial Medical Center (Batavia) as well as the New York State Department of Health.
Most recently, she was the president and CEO of Catholic Health East’s St. James Mercy Health System in Hornell, New York.
While there, she was responsible for oversight and development of the rural health system, encompassing an acute care hospital (St. James Mercy Hospital) and a 120-bed long-term care facility (McAuley Manor), the St. James Mercy Foundation, and St. James Mercy Properties (a for-profit subsidiary).
“We are pleased to welcome someone like Mary LaRowe to our team,” said Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health. “She has a demonstrated track record of leadership and collaboration in local health care. Mary understands the needs of the Southern Tier and will work to enhance care for the residents of Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties while improving access to the Kaleida Health system.”
Earlier this month, Lake Shore Health Care Center and Brooks Memorial Hospital announced their intentions to affiliate with Kaleida Health. As part of that announcement, Brooks Memorial terminated its affiliation agreement (including leasing site leadership) with UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania and entered into a partnership with Kaleida Health. TLC Health Network, the parent of Lake Shore Health Care Center, is negotiating an affiliation with Kaleida Health as well.
“On behalf of our board, our employees and the patients we serve, I would like to thank Gary Rhodes and UPMC-Hamot for their help and support during a very critical time in the life of Brooks Memorial Hospital,” said Christopher Lanski, the board chair for Brooks Memorial Hospital. “We are very excited to have Mary come on board. She brings a great deal of experience, especially in the delivery of healthcare in rural communities.”
LaRowe is board certified (fellow status) with the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has been involved in the American Hospital Association, the Hospital Association of New York State, Rochester Regional Healthcare Association, United Way of the Southern Tier and the Rural Area Health Education Center.
“I have spent the majority of my health care career in the Western New York area and I remain committed, today, to the area’s success and future growth,” said LaRowe. “The opportunity at Brooks Memorial Hospital is one of transformation and helping the Southern Tier community coordinate care, develop partnerships and secure the hospital’s presence in the region.”
She earned a Master of Business Administration from the State University of Buffalo at New York and a bachelor of science in nursing from D’Youville College.
Brooks Memorial Hospital and TLC Health Network, like most hospitals in rural communities across the country, have been hit particularly hard with declining and aging populations, a changing payor mix, difficulty in recruiting physicians, aging facilities and significant capital challenges. Because of these challenges, they have suffered financial losses over the past five years with admission and surgical discharges declining each year as well.
In order to help reposition the hospitals, Brooks Memorial and TLC Health Network have secured $57 million through New York State’s Essential Healthcare Provider Support Program. This program is designed to help financially distressed New York State healthcare entities with debt retirement, capital projects, turnaround and transformation initiatives.
The two Southern Tier hospitals and Kaleida Health are now working together to develop a full vison, plan and strategy for the Southern Tier. This transparent process will include communication, community engagement, as well as physician and employee participation to ensure that the Chautauqua and Cattaraugus community’s health care needs are met.
For continuing updates on the Southern Tier healthcare affiliation, please visit the Brooks Memorial Hospital website at www.brookshospital.org, or join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BrooksMemorialHospital/.