SARATOGA SPRINGS — A Maryland hospital executive has been chosen to take over as leader of Saratoga Hospital as it and its parent organization streamline the largest healthcare network in the region.
Jill Johnson VanKuren will succeed Angelo Calbone, who is retiring next month after 16 years as the organization’s president and CEO.
VanKuren has worked 17 years for the MedStar Health System, the largest integrated healthcare system in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area.
In this respect, she will be stepping into a similar structure as CEO of Saratoga Hospital, which is part of the Albany Med Health System, the largest healthcare network in the Capital Region.
VanKuren and others touched on this in a news release Tuesday, and implied that the hospital would be further streamlined into the network.
An internal memo sent to hospital staff earlier Tuesday about the new CEO went a bit further, stating: “She has firsthand knowledge of the advantages and challenges we face as we transition to a more integrated Albany Med Health System.”
Saratoga Hospital’s public relations team did not return requests for further detail Wednesday.
In the news release announcing VanKuren’s appointment, Albany Med President and CEO Dr. Dennis McKenna said: “Patients of Saratoga Hospital will benefit from her expertise as we reinforce northeastern New York’s largest and only regionally governed health system and ensure access to its broad range of services.”
Michael J. Toohey, chairman of the Saratoga Hospital Board of Trustees, said: “From her first interview, Jill impressed us with her understanding of the vital role of a community hospital in a larger health system. She shares our commitment to maintaining Saratoga Hospital’s reputation for exceptional quality and personal attention while bringing the benefits of the Albany Med Health System to our patients and community.”
VanKuren said in the news release she is honored to have been selected to lead Saratoga Hospital: “I have a deep respect for the community and the culture that the people of Saratoga Hospital have built over the years. I look forward to building on that strong foundation as we evolve to support the future needs of the community.”
VanKuren is currently senior vice president of operations and chief operating officer at MedStar Franklin Square, one of MedStar’s 10 hospitals. She holds degrees from East Carolina University and Loyola University Maryland, and is board-certified in healthcare management by the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is scheduled to start at Saratoga on Sept. 19.
The Capital Region medical community is dominated by two major players: Albany Med and St. Peter’s Health Partners, which operate every hospital in the eight-county region, except the two operated by Ellis Medicine, which plans to merge with SPHP.
The size and strength of a network give an individual hospital resources it would not have alone, but do not make it immune to the financial and personnel problems that plague the industry.
Saratoga Hospital is currently advertising 172 full-time, 33 part-time and 59 per-diem job openings, 87 of them for registered nurses, who remain in very short supply.