News | Announcement

An Interview with Our President and CEO

May 4, 2023

What prompted you to pursue a career at Ryan Health?

Prior to joining Ryan Health, I worked in acute care hospitals from 1982 until 2009 and had frequent interactions with Federally Qualified Health Centers. I was always impressed with their dedication to the mission of their health centers. In 2009, when the Ryan Health Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position became available, I thought this would be a wonderful time in my career to seek this opportunity.

What was the biggest change for you during your time at Ryan Health?

When I was promoted in 2015 from CFO to President & CEO of Ryan Health, I had to immediately change my mindset. As the CFO, your main concerns are the finances of the organization, and you base your recommendations with that in mind. As the CEO, you are responsible for the number one asset of the organization, and that’s our incredible workforce.

Describe the biggest challenge you encountered during your time at Ryan Health.

There have been many challenges during my eight years leading Ryan Health, but the biggest one would be leading this tremendous organization through the Covid-19 pandemic. In March 2020, literally overnight, our volume decreased to 15% of our norm, and we needed to react quickly as to how we would be able to serve our patients needs and be able to keep our staff and patients safe during a time when life and death issues were occurring on a daily basis. I’m very proud of the accomplishments that we achieved during that difficult time. We transitioned to telehealth in just two weeks, so we could continue to serve our patients, and we were able to continue operations with minimal workforce interruptions.

What stands out as your biggest accomplishment in your years with Ryan Health?

When I became CEO in 2015, among my top priorities were financial stability, advancing the mission, and quality. I’m a firm believer in the phrase no margin, no mission, and as such, we worked to improve our financial stability to enable us to assist the thousands of patients who rely on our services. Over the past eight years, we have advanced the mission to reach new communities and patients, expanding externally and internally.

In 2016, we opened Ryan Health | Frederick Douglass, expanding our presence and services in Harlem. Two and a half years ago, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we opened Ryan Health | Wadsworth to address unmet needs in Washington Heights and Inwood. Internally, both Ryan Chelsea-Clinton and Ryan Health | Women & Children’s underwent significant renovations to expand the number of patients that they are able to reach.

This past February, we cut the ribbon for the new home of the Ryan Health | Emotional Wellness Center, with additional space to address the mental health needs of our communities, including those coping with the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Related to quality, we implemented a quality improvement program that has resulted in better outcomes for our patients and communities.

As a result, we have received recognition from the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) for our quality care, putting us among the leading FQHCs in the country, as well as quality awards from managed care plans here in New York.

What are your plans for retirement?

I plan to relax with my family and do some traveling. We have a family trip planned to Europe in the fall. I really enjoy playing golf -- though I’m not very good -- with my family and friends. It’s so much fun spending time with them. Dina and I have three children that are grown now, and I will have more time to visit them. Chris, my oldest, lives in Boston and will be getting married in June. My daughter Mackenzie lives locally in New York City, so Dina and I get to see her more often than our sons. Michael, our youngest, went to school in the South and now resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. They are following in their father’s footsteps as all three have graduated college with finance degrees.

Anything else you would like to add?

Just that these past eight years have been the best years of my career, and I have the Ryan Health team to thank for that. Their dedication to our patients has made my job so rewarding. Thank you!