OLEAN, NY – Better serving the community is the top priority for Olean General Hospital.
That was the focus of the presentation shared by Timothy Finan, president and chief executive officer of Upper Allegheny Health System, and Jody Lomeo, president and CEO of Kaleida Health, during Wednesday's Community Breakfast Meeting in Olean General Hospital's Education Center. The two who discussed how the affiliation between the health systems would impact the community.
Finan began the dialogue saying he grew up in Olean and has seen the steps taken to make Olean a center of reliable health care. He added that because of the recent partnership with Kaleida, more than 900 people are now employed with OGH.
“Without this affiliation, OGH would wither on the vine,” Finan said.
Focusing on rural areas and smaller city communities such as Olean is the shared main goal for Olean General and for Kaleida Health, Lomeo said.
“We need to go back into the community and cover the map,” Lomeo said.
He noted that the partnership is intended to better serve the community and to keep health care local now more than ever, avoiding bandages and resolving to fix the actual problems.
Lomeo’s words were a positive sign for some.
“I find him to be extremely trustworthy,” Linore Lounsbury, executive director of the Genesis House, said.
At Genesis House, a not-for-profit homeless shelter that serves families, single women and children, health care needs are not being met.
“The people that stay at the house ask for two aspirin, and we can’t give them two aspirin,” Lounsbury said.
Localizing health care in the Greater Olean area will eliminate the stress of Genesis House providing transportation to the City of Buffalo for those it serves.
The changes implemented will be a relief for Lounsbury. “It’s magnificent what they are doing," she said.
The final breakfast program in 2017 is scheduled for Nov. 1, 7:45 a.m., and will feature an update on the opioid epidemic. For more information, visit https://www.ogh.org.