Wyoming County Community Health System has found its next CEO.
The health system on Wednesday announced that David A. Kobis, a longtime health care executive and management consultant, will start May 31 in the top role. The system includes a 62-bed hospital and 138-bed nursing home in Warsaw, along with several outpatient offices in Warsaw, Arcade, Attica, Castile, Mt. Morris and Perry.
Kobis, who was born in Buffalo and raised in East Aurora, for the last three years has consulted with health systems and organizations across the country, specializing in rural health and distressed hospitals. His LinkedIn profile shows he has been in the Lakeland, Fla., area since 2019, first as the managing principal of Aspire Healthcare Consulting and then as a principal at Health Management Associates.
Prior to that, Kobis held several executive roles, including president of Fatima Hospital in Providence, R.I., chief integration officer at Waterbury Hospital in Connecticut and chief operating officer at Cortland Regional Medical Center. Before those roles, he was an executive at Olean General Hospital and Bradford (Pa.) Regional Medical Center, two hospitals that are now affiliated with Buffalo’s Kaleida Health.
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Kobis will succeed Joseph L. McTernan, who died Jan. 24 after a brief illness. McTernan, 44, was hired in August 2019 and led the health system, with a payroll of just under 500 workers, through the significant challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Joseph McTernan, 44, called in sick Friday and died early Monday morning, following what the Warsaw-based health system called a “brief illness.”
In addition to taking the helm at a time when the industry is grappling with financial and staffing challenges, Kobis also joins WCCHS on the heels of significant community tension after the hospital ended its contract this year with popular orthopedic surgeon Dr. Paul Mason, The Daily News in Batavia has reported.
The controversial move spurred a call for a complete and independent review of the health system, though the county’s Board of Supervisors voted against such a review at its April 12 meeting, minutes show.
WCCHS said Kobis is well suited for the job, having spent more than a decade working with rural health care organizations. His work has included financial turnarounds for distressed hospitals, the expansion of dental services in underserved rural communities and the development of provider recruitment strategies.
“Dave’s extensive experience in health care, particularly in rural hospital situations, qualifies him for the position of the chief executive officer at WCCHS,” said Richard Kosmerl, president of the health system’s board of managers. “His leadership will be a key factor as we continue to navigate and then recover from the ongoing Covid-19 crisis and will then set us in a great position to move forward and continue to provide outstanding health care services to the citizens of our county and our neighboring region.”
At a meeting April 11, the board of managers approved a three-year employment agreement with Kobis, according to meeting minutes. He will make a salary of $375,000 per year, and must live within 40 miles of the hospital, the minutes state.
The health system said Kobis has strong ties to the area, having spent more than 30 years in Western New York.
Kobis received his degree in business administration from the University of Richmond and Master of Business Administration from the Ohio State University.