Tom Quatroche Jr. Elected HANYS’ Chairman of the Board

ECMC Corporation president and CEO to lead Healthcare Association of New York State board of trustees. Group represents 325 organizations — hospitals, nursing homes, continuing care associations — from Long Island to Buffalo

By Michael J. Billoni

Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) has recently been elected chairman of the Healthcare Association of New York State’s board of trustees for 2020. HANYS advocates in Albany and Washington on behalf of its members.

Quatroche recently answered questions from “In Good Health” about the significance of this position for him and ECMC.

Q. What is the Healthcare Association of New York State and how long have you served on its board?

A. “The Healthcare Association of New York State is the statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York state, representing nonprofit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and other healthcare organizations. HANYS currently represents 325 organizations from Long Island to Buffalo. I joined the HANYS board of trustees in 2015.”

Q. What is its mission and how has your position on its board benefited ECMC and other health care facilities in WNY?

A. “HANYS mission is to advocate for and support its statewide healthcare member organizations. HANYS works to ensure every New Yorker has access to affordable, high-quality care. They advance the health of individuals and communities by providing leadership, representation and service to not-for-profit and public hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare organizations throughout the state. Most importantly, HANYS advocates for healthcare organizations both in our state and nationally [in Washington, DC] on issues that directly benefit patients and it assists these organizations to obtain the reimbursements they need to care for their respective communities.

“As chair of the HANYS board of trustees, I will have direct input into the organization’s public policy advocacy in Albany and Washington on behalf of the HANYS members and the healthcare needs of New Yorkers. This gives ECMC a ‘seat at the table’ as critical issues such as potential federal DSH [Disproportionate Share Hospital] cuts, 340-B drug pricing and the future of Medicaid are debated among policymakers and decisions are reached that will have a long-term impact on our patients and community.”

Q. How will your position as chairman further benefit you and or ECMC?

A. “As chair of such an important statewide healthcare organization, I will have the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues from similar institutions from across the state, sharing best practices, reviewing policy decisions that affect the members’ facilities, their patients and their communities. ECMC has some of the best outcomes and it is a great opportunity to share ECMC’s story as well as other success stories in Western New York. This helps our area receive more funding and strengthens ECMC’s effort in the recruitment of physicians and others as we compete on a statewide and national basis for talent.”

Q. How prestigious is this new position and what will that mean for you, responsibility wise and time wise? Where are the board meetings held and how often?

A. “It is a very prestigious position. HANYS board of trustees meets four times a year times in person and four times by phone. For me personally, the responsibility to help guide the discussion for state healthcare institutions is an honor. There are a few other times a year when I will be asked to represent HANYS on the federal level. HANYS has strong leadership staff, which does all of the work related to the day-to-day business of the association. My responsibility is to take a leadership position in HANYS’ advocacy and policy analysis, helping the board take positions and direct association initiatives related to navigating healthcare reform and achieve the shared goal of creating better healthcare across the state at the lowest cost possible.”

Q. With representatives in the healthcare field from around the state on the board is there a chance you can host a meeting in Buffalo and show off the current renovations at ECMC and the medical campus?

A. “Yes, in fact this year, for the first time, HANYS will hold its annual meeting in Buffalo, which is an excellent opportunity to share the story of ECMC and that of our entire Western New York healthcare community. ECMC has also hosted visits of its 65-acre health campus from other local and national healthcare institutions who have had the opportunity to see the great work being done by the ECMC family.”

Q. As chairman of its board, what are your goals for the organization in 2020? How big is the board?

A. “The board consists of 11 members. We all know the challenges that are currently confronting healthcare providers across New York state and the country, so our goal at HANYS will be to continue to advocate for the policies and programs that will support our patients and our communities. We are all concerned with the budgetary issues in both Albany and Washington, which have such a profound impact on our individual institutions. We are also concerned with the healthcare insurance companies across the state providing healthcare institutions the necessary reimbursement to care for their members. Collectively, we can make a compelling case for the vitally important role healthcare institutions — both as providers and employers — play in our respective communities. Our responsibility is to remind our state and federal policymakers that our long-term viability is essential to the success and stability of our home communities.”

New Board of Trustees at HANYS

The HANYS board of trustees 2020 officers and executive committee members are:

Chairman: Thomas J. Quatroche Jr., Ph.D, president and chief executive officer, Erie County Medical Center;

Chairman-Elect: Bruce Flanz, president and chief executive officer, MediSys Health Network;

Secretary: Michael Spicer, president and chief executive officer, Saint Joseph’s Medical Center;

Treasurer: Physician Jose Acevedo, president and chief executive officer, Finger Lakes Health;

Immediate past chairman: Richard Murphy, president and chief executive officer, Mount Sinai South Nassau;

Past chairs: physician Steven Corwin, president and chief executive officer, NewYork-Presbyterian; Kimberly Boynton, president and chief executive officer, Crouse Health; Thomas Carman, president and chief executive officer, Samaritan Medical Center; Steven Goldstein, president and chief executive officer, Strong Memorial and Highland Hospital; Caryn Schwab, executive director, Mount Sinai Queens; Robert Spolzino, JD, trustee, board of overseers, Northwell Health.