Health System Chief Operating Officer tapped to lead $1.1 billion system

The Corporate Members and Sponsors Council of Catholic Health has appointed Mark A. Sullivan, FACHE, the new president & CEO of the Buffalo based health system. A veteran healthcare executive, Sullivan has been with Catholic Health since its inception, most recently serving as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer since 2007. The announcement comes several months after longtime president & CEO Joe McDonald announced his pending retirement after 15 years as Catholic Health’s top executive.

Sullivan’s 24-year professional career has been spent in Catholic affiliated healthcare organizations, with extensive experience across the healthcare continuum, leading acute care, primary care, home care, and continuing care operations as well as providing oversight for Quality and Performance Improvement. He joined Mercy Home Care of WNY as director of Business Operations in 1994. Following the formation of Catholic Health, Sullivan was named director of Operations for Home Health in 2000 and served as CEO of the division from 2003-2007. He also served as interim CEO of the system’s Continuing Care division in 2013.

Today’s announcement was made by Reverend Monsignor Robert E. Zapfel, chair of the Catholic Health Corporate Members and Sponsors Council, and William K. Buscaglia, Jr., chair of the Catholic Health Board of Directors. The Corporate Members and Sponsors Council is comprised of representatives from Trinity Health, based in Livonia, Michigan; and the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. The appointment follows a nearly five-month search involving several highly qualified internal, regional and national candidates.

“While we cast a wide net, we didn’t have to look far to find a strong, mission-driven leader who could build on our success and help us continue to lead the transformation of healthcare in our community,” said Monsignor Zapfel. “Our Corporate Members and Sponsors are pleased to welcome Mark into this leadership role and we look forward to working closely with him to advance our Mission and strengthen our long-standing tradition of delivering the highest quality care to individuals and families throughout the region.”

As the fourth president & CEO in Catholic Health’s 20-year history, Sullivan will have administrative responsibility for one of the area’s largest health systems, with annual revenues of more than $1.1 billion. He will lead a team of more than 9,000 associates, while working closely with Catholic Medical Partners to help strengthen the system’s relationship with its nearly 1,600 affiliated physicians.

“Mark is the best person to lead Catholic Health into the future,” said Buscaglia. “He has the experience, strategic vision, and detailed understanding of nearly every facet of the organization to set a course that will not only build on our past accomplishments, but create new opportunities for growth and innovation that will enable our highly skilled team to continue to deliver the very best care for years to come.”

“Mark is a strategic leader with a proven record of advancing people-centered care in Buffalo and throughout the region,” said John Capasso, Executive Vice President of Trinity Health. “For our colleagues and the people we serve, Mark is an exemplary choice.”

A fifth generation Buffalonian, Sullivan will take over the reins of Catholic Health on March 1. “I am humbled by this opportunity and proud to lead a team that is singularly focused on delivering the highest quality care, with skill, compassion and dedication that is second to none,” Sullivan said. “Like the strong leaders who came before me, I look forward to developing innovative ways to better serve our community and contribute to the overall health of the region.”

Sullivan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science/Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration/Health Care Management from Canisius College. He is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives (FACHE), a Health Care Transformation fellow and mentor for the American Hospital Association, and a Certified Home and Hospice Care Executive (CHCE). He also served on the Board of Directors of the Home Care Association of New York State and was a member of its Policy Council.

Throughout his career, Sullivan has been involved in a number of civic, academic and community service organizations. He presently serves on the Board of Directors of the Buffalo Zoo. Past community service involvement has included the St. Francis High School Board of Directors, St. Bernadette School Board, Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation, and Cradle Beach Camp Board of Directors. He recently retired from the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Scientific Staff Reserve after 13 years of service, where as a deputy he volunteered for various community details and served in the Sheriff’s Honor Guard.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary this month, Catholic Health was formed in 1998 to preserve and strengthen Catholic-sponsored healthcare services throughout the region. With Joe McDonald at its helm for the past 15 years, the organization has grown into a leading integrated health system, enhancing patient safety, controlling costs, and contributing to the overall health of the community.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to Joe for his dedicated service, outstanding leadership and generous support throughout this transition,” Monsignor Zapfel added. “He helped guide our ministry through some of the most sweeping changes we have seen in healthcare delivery, raising the bar on quality, safety and value, while never losing sight of the fact that our fundamental mission is to serve those in need.”

About Catholic Health

From delivering more babies than any other provider in the region; to offering the area’s widest network of comprehensive cardiac, stroke, and orthopedic services; to providing a broad range of services for aging seniors, Catholic Health cares for hundreds of thousands of Western New Yorkers at dozens of locations throughout Erie and Niagara counties. Its healthcare network includes Kenmore Mercy Hospital, Mercy Hospital of Buffalo, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital, and Sisters of Charity Hospital and its St. Joseph Campus; along with a complete continuum of Home & Community Based Care services, including skilled nursing and subacute rehab facilities, home care agencies, and diagnostic and treatment centers.

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