Joseph D. McDonald will retire as president and chief executive of Buffalo, N.Y.-based Catholic Health once he has helped his yet-to-be-identified successor to transition into the role. According to the system, that likely will happen in early 2018.
McDonald assumed Catholic Health's top role in 2002. He was the system's third and longest-serving chief executive. Catholic Health began in 1998 when several Catholic hospitals, nursing homes and clinics in New York merged. Today, the system includes five hospitals and a network of outpatient sites. It is sponsored by the Diocese of Buffalo and Catholic Health Ministries, which is the public juridic person of Trinity Health.
According to information from Catholic Health, McDonald assumed the helm at a time of financial struggle for the system. Under his leadership, the organization has reported a positive operating margin for 14 consecutive years.
McDonald is credited with helping spearhead the system's early adoption of an electronic health record system, improving Catholic Health's strategic partnerships, developing the organization's physician practices, adding to its service offerings, expanding its community benefit and charity care outlays and preserving system facilities that were struggling or under threat of closure.
Prior to joining Catholic Health, McDonald held executive leadership roles in his native Knoxville, Tenn., including operating his own health care consulting firm.
McDonald, who turns 65 this month, is on local, state and national boards. He plans to continue the board work post-retirement.
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