Kaleida Health cuts veteran administrator

January 24, 2013 Updated Jan 24, 2013 at 8:31 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Tracey Drury, Buffalo Business First

...
January 24, 2013 Updated Jan 24, 2013 at 8:31 AM EDT

The longtime president of the former Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital has been let go by Kaleida Health

Tamara Owen, who worked in the system for the past 21 years, had served as president and chief operating officer for Buffalo General Medical Center and Gates Vascular Institute since last spring.

She shifted into the COO role after Millard Gates closed last year, when programs were merged into Buffalo General. She came to Gates from DeGraff Memorial Hospital, where she served as president from 2006-2009. Before that she served as a corporate vice president in administration.

Owen's last day was Jan. 16, according to an internal Kaleida memo posted online by Cheryl Klass, senior vice president for operations at Buffalo General and president of Women & Children's Hospital of Buffalo.

According to the memo, the changes to the administrative leadership team structure are intended to better support Buffalo General's strategic direction. The COO role was eliminated, with administrative and medical leadership to be focused in three divisions: the GVI, the orthopedic hospital and medical/surgical/critical care. On an interim basis, Owen's three direct report managers will report to Klass while recruitment and identification of new leadership is underway.

"We thank Tammy Owen for her 21 years of service with Kaleida Health," Klass wrote. "She has touched nearly every part of the organization, from physical therapy to DeGraff Memorial Hospital to Buffalo General Medical Center during her time with Kaleida Health. Most notable is Tammy's leadership during the move of Millard Fillmore Gates Circle Hospital to the Gates Vascular Institute last spring."

In September, Owen was recognized by Business First with its Corporate Executive Award as part of the 2012 Women of Influence.

In its nomination letter for the award, Kaleida credited Owen with leading DeGraff's survival through the Berger Commission process, resulting in it being maintained as an acute care hospital. In addition, she helped improve patient satisfaction scores, transform and stabilize key physician services, grow volume and increase employee satisfaction.

As the president of Millard Gates, she was cited for maintaining the operations of a full-service hospital specializing in stroke and cardiac services while at the same time leading the planning for integration of all of its clinical programs, physician specialties and staff to Buffalo General and the GVI.

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