OLEAN — Jeff Zewe has resigned as president and CEO of the Olean and Bradford hospitals and Upper Allegheny Health System and will be replaced temporarily by the head of Brooks-TLC Hospital System in Dunkirk. Reasons for Zewe leaving weren’t addressed in a press release from Upper Allegheny Tuesday afternoon. The release only indicated that Zewe had left the organization.
Mary E. LaRowe is now the interim president and CEO of UAHS until a new chief is named to the position.
“Mary has a demonstrated track record of leadership and collaboration especially in rural healthcare,” said Don Boyd, chief operating officer of Kaleida Health, the affiliate partner of UAHS. “Having worked in places like Dunkirk, Hornell and Batavia, it is clear that she understands the needs here. She can step in as interim president and CEO and will continue to work to enhance care for the residents of the region.”
The UAHS Board of Directors and its affiliate parent Kaleida Health have authorized what was called a national search for a new president and CEO for UAHS. LaRowe will not be a candidate in the search.
LaRowe is a longtime hospital leader in Upstate New York. She was named CEO of Brooks-TLC in the spring of 2016. Prior to that she was the president and CEO of Catholic Health East’s St. James Mercy Health System in Hornell.
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).
LaRowe has worked in healthcare for more than 35 years, including 30 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.
Jeff Belt, chair of the UAHS board, said, “I want to first thank all of the wonderful caregivers who dedicate their service to our communities, centered here in Bradford and Olean. For 15 months, through a period of unprecedented stress upon healthcare systems, and unprecedented personal risk to healthcare providers, they have kept us safe.”
Belt also thanked the Brooks-TLC board of directors LaRowe for their assistance during the leadership transition.
“The team here, and the communities we serve, will see a seamless transition,” Belt said. “We will also continue to implement our board — led transformation of healthcare delivery in our region. It is imperative that we continue our plan of change toward centers of excellence.”
LaRowe is board certified (FACHE) with the American College of Healthcare Executives. She has been involved in the American Hospital Association, the Healthcare Association of New York State, Rochester Regional Healthcare Association, United Way of the Southern Tier and the Rural Area Health Education Center.
She will remain president and CEO of Brooks-TLC. Ken Morris, the hospital’s chief operating officer, will assume day to day leadership for the Dunkirk-based organization during this interim period.