Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Chronicle exclusive: GF Hospital CEO Dianne Shugrue’s inside view

By Mark Frost, Chronicle Editor

Massachusetts native Dianne Shugrue will have more time to pursue one passion: She has Boston Red Sox season tickets. Chronicle file photo/Mark Frost

Dianne Shugrue, 63, who has headed Glens Falls Hospital for the past eight years, will retire at the end of December.

“I feel like I’m leaving the hospital in a really good spot,” Ms. Shugrue told The Chronicle Tuesday.

The hospital’s affiliation with Albany Medical Center took effect last year.

“It’s really going well. I feel that the hospital’s well-positioned to be able to continue its mission,” Ms. Shugrue said.

“The Board of Governors here made the right decision in affiliating with Albany Med. Every day we become a little more entwined with Albany.” She said the affiliation puts Glens Falls Hospital “really where we need to be.”

She foresees continued consolidation to “just two health systems in the Capital Region — Albany Medical Center and St. Peter’s Health Partners.”

Albany Med is now the parent of Glens Falls and Saratoga Hospitals among other facilities. Ellis Hospital in Schenectady is pursuing affiliation with St. Peter’s.

Ms. Shugrue said Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Paul Scimeca will serve as Interim President and CEO.

“He’s been here 30 plus years,” she said. “He’s certainly capable, he’ll keep a steady rein on things. I have tremendous confidence in the leadership team in Glens Falls and the people here.”

“Health care is hard,” Ms. Shugrue said. “This pandemic has been relentless. Everybody is tired and stressed and wants to see it end.”

Plus, she said, there are “extraordinary challenges with our work force in health care, here and everywhere.”

She foresees “lots of changes in health care” going forward.

At Glens Falls Hospital, she said, “we have a core group of people who never ever forget why they’re here. They take care of people, with kindness….It’s a good and positive culture. In the end I do believe that impacts patient care….

“I’m humbled and so blessed to have been part of it to be in a position to help them do their jobs.”

As for retiring, Ms. Shugrue said, “There’s beginnings and there’s ends.” She noted, “My husband retired last year. I lost my mom this year. I’ve been at the hospital for 14 years. I’ve been the CEO for eight.”

Ms. Shugrue’s husband is Laurence Kelly, who retired last October as president and CEO of Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville after 19 years there.

Has he given her any advice? “He said he doesn’t miss work. There are things he misses, but work isn’t one of them. He’s kept himself busy.”

Will Ms. Shugrue work elsewhere in hospital administration? “No, no, no. If I were going to continue to work, it would certainly be here at Glens Falls Hospital.”

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