ITHACA, N.Y. — Leadership is changing hands at Cayuga Medical Center. The president and CEO of Cayuga Medical Center and Cayuga Health System John Rudd has announced plans to retire after more than two decades in leadership roles at the organization.

Rudd will transition out slowly. He will officially retire in the fall of 2019, but on Jan. 1, 2019, Dr. Martin Stallone, vice president of physician operations at CMC and president of Cayuga Medical Associates, will succeed Rudd as president and CEO of Cayuga Medical Center.

Rudd will continue as president and CEO of Cayuga Health System until the fall of 2019 when Dr. Stallone will take over those additional duties.

Asked why now to retire, Rudd said the timing was right.

“I felt very strongly that when I retire that I knew I wanted to ensure that we had the right person to continue the great stretch that we’ve had at Cayuga Medical Center. I’ve been here 23 years. I’ve seen a lot of changes and a lot of great improvement,” Rudd said. “And I know that I have an individual in Marty that will be able to continue that evolution of this organization well into the future.”

Dr. Stallone joined Cayuga Medical Center’s medical staff in 2009. His professional overview states he is a “board-certified, practicing physician-leader with diverse experience across different sectors of the healthcare industry.” He and his family are deeply rooted in Tompkins County. He lives in Lansing with his wife, Amy, and six sons, and he received a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. He also holds an MBA in healthcare management from The Wharton School and earned his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Larry Baum, chairman of the board of directors of Cayuga Health System, said in a news release they are pleased to have Dr. Stallone come on board. He said, “Dr. Stallone is a highly accomplished physician who holds an MBA and who has been integral to our continuing progress. We are well positioned for a smooth transition.”

Dr. Stallone said he is looking forward to continuing the process of developing “our system and our team approach to healthcare in conjunction with the physician practices of our community and with our partner organizations.” He said Cayuga Health System has a lot of referral partnerships at Strong Memorial Hospital and Rochester Regional, the Mayo Clinic and others. And he said locally, they approach medicine as a “team endeavor.”

“We’ve accomplished some great things under the banner of population health and I look forward to having more successes in that domain,” Dr. Stallone said. “At the same time we’re becoming more and more patient focused, our quality at the hospital continues to improve on top of an already-strong level of performance. We’re customer oriented. We’re patient focused and we look forward to giving the members of our community a fantastic health experience when and if they need it.”

Rudd said when he arrived at Cayuga Medical Center over 20 years ago, they were a $50 million-a-year operation. Today, with all of their entities, they are about a $300 million operation. Over that time, he said the comprehensiveness of services has grown, as has the geographic reach to Schuyler and Cortland counties. In addition to the expanded reach, Rudd said he is happy with a range of improvements at the hospital like renovations to their in-patient unit, the new ER and ICU, the Cayuga Wellness Center and Island Health and Fitness, oncology services, interventional cardiology. In all the years he has been at Cayuga Medical Center, Rudd said there has always been at least one major improvement.

Some of the biggest challenges ahead, Rudd said, are challenges health systems across the country are facing. The first one he highlighted is workforce shortages in health care, for positions such as primary care physicians and critical care nurses. He said they are actively trying to alleviate some of those shortages by working with local colleges.

One early priority for him Dr. Stallone said will be building employee relationships. Dr. Stallone is an internal medicine physician who specializes in hospital medicine. He said he has had experience in all sorts of hospital operations, from lab operations to pharmacy to emergency and in-patient services. With his master’s degrees, he also has a background in healthcare administration and finance.

“Across the provider side of the healthcare industry, I’m aware of the most important issues facing hospitals who are cooperating in emerging networks,” Dr. Stallone said.

He said the hospital and health system is here to serve the community.

“It’s the community’s hospital,” Dr. Stallone said. “It’s an organization that needs to survive and be there for the community, so it’s in everyone’s interest to have a hospital that’s worthy of providing care to them and that there’s an administration here that’s going to care about that and shape us into what we need to be for you, the community.”

Rudd said it has been a privilege and an honor to have had the opportunity to lead the organization.

“I can’t overemphasize enough the privilege of working with a phenomenal group of people across the entire organization and entire enterprise,” Rudd said.

From left, John Rudd and Dr. Marty Stallone. (Provided Photo)

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at koconnor@ithacavoice.com and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.