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Dr. Slingerland to become Hudson Headwaters CEO

By Gordon Woodworth, Chronicle News Editor

Hudson Headwaters Health Network founder Dr. John Rugge will become executive chairman on July 1, turning the reins as chief executive officer over to Dr. Tucker Slingerland.

Dr. Dan Larson, a member of Hudson Headwaters’ senior management for nearly three decades, will become Chief Medical Officer emeritus.

All three physicians will continue to see patients, Dr. Rugge stressed to The Chronicle.

“This is not retirement,” insisted Dr. Rugge, 72, who founded Hudson Headwaters in 1974.

“It’s best for Dan and me, and for the network, to help start this generation shift and both assume new roles at the same time while still seeing patients and being available for Tucker.”

Dr. Tucker Slingerland, center, will become Hudson Headwaters’ Chief Executive Officer on July 1, succeeding founder Dr. John Rugge, right, who will become executive chairman. Dr. Dan Larson, left, will become chief medical officer emeritus. All three will continue to see patients.

Dr. Rugge said Dr. Slingerland, 41, who was named deputy CEO last October, “is ready. He has the vision, the interpersonal relationships inside and outside the network, and he’s been involved in all of the major initiatives. He’s ready for the CEO position.”

Dr. Slingerland graduated from Williams College, earned his medical degree from St. George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada, West Indies, and completed his medical training at the University of Vermont Medical College, where he was Chief Resident of Family Medicine.

What will become of Dr. Rugge’s corner office in the Hudson Headwaters administrative wing on Carey Road?

“This will be Tucker’s office on July 1,” Dr. Rugge said. “I’ll find another space somewhere.”

He said the shift to a new generation “is a planned transition period, and the team reworking itself to ensure continuity and institutional memory doesn’t go away.

“The network’s management team is morphing itself in a good way, with a vote of confidence for Tucker to lead us starting July 1st.”

Dr. Rugge said of Dr. Larson, 65, Dr. Rugge said, “The network wouldn’t be here if Dr. Larson didn’t recruit all of these physicians here. He is so fundamental to our story.”

Dr. Larson, who is 65, in April will run in his 47th Boston Marathon — and seeking his 43rd consecutive finish.

He will continue to see patients, serve as medical director at local long-term care facilities, and provide mentoring for physician recruitment, a press release said.

Dr. Rugge said he will continue to see his 800-plus patients in the Warrensburg and Chester health centers, working “four long half-days a week.”

He will also continue to play a key role in the evolving state of health care in Albany and Washington, D.C.

“I’m on the Adirondack Health Institute board, chairman of the Adirondack Accountable Care Organization, chairman of the planning committee of the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council, and involved with various work groups organized by the state Health Department,” Dr. Rugge said. “That all stays the same.”

He said he will also continue his trips to Washington, D.C., to advise New York senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Those trips could become more frequent, given the political climate.

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