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ECMC Leader Picked to Head Atlanta Hospital

ECMC President and CEO Mike Young, who was responsible for reversing the fortunes of the once financially struggling hospital on Grider Street, has been chosen to head Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Atlanta’s gain is Erie County’s loss.

Young has a long track record of expanding the quality of care while increasing profitability at the hospitals he’s led. Recently, he’s been a strong advocate for ECMC—a public benefit corporation that provides acute care for the region’s uninsured and underinsured. He also favored building a new, state of the art cardiac facility at ECMC, with the cash the hospital made during the few years he ran the place.

Instead, recent closed-door negotiations led by Judge John Curran at UB’s Farber Hall involving ECMC, Kaleida Health, UB, Erie County, and the entity known as “Newco,” determined (among other things) that the heart facility would go to the Buffalo General medical corridor, where UB has already purchased real estate. Additionally, Delaware North chairman Jeremy Jacobs recently donated $10 million dollars to UB to build the facility—provided it was located near Buffalo General. The agreement, which was forged in a meeting at UB on a Sunday afternoon, was closed to the public and the press and described as a “confidential settlement of a court case.” It had been described as a “miracle cure” less than one month ago in The Buffalo News.

With Young out of the picture, it will be interesting to see how much longer ECMC will retain the more profitable services it sought to keep, and how long they’ll be able to provide their current high level of service to the poorest and most vulnerable members of our community.

Young will start his new job in Atlanta on September 1.

  • WNYMind

    Michael A. Young is leaving Buffalo. He was apparently on the job market while the ECMC-Kaleida Health-UB deal was cut behind closed doors. Not a big thing. People are always on the job market. But, it will be interesting to see if the Erie County legislature investigates Young’s travel expenditures or if there is public outrage over the state of medical care at ECMC (today and in the future).

    I don’t mean to raise questions about Young. He did a fine job given the obstacles one faces in WNY. I am sure Atlanta will be challenging, but at least it won’t be hampered by regional decline and a decaying medical infrastructure.

    I do raise these issues to point out that when others move on to greener pastures, or are on the job market in Buffalo, they don’t get treated with kit gloves the way Young is. For instance the City of Buffalo director of strategic planning recently took a better job in California, and was treated poorly by Artvoice and some local politicians who have questionable resumes. And, Artvoice along with Paladino is on a mission to squash James Williams, despite incremental improvements in the BPS. So, what is the difference? Do black professionals who take on Buffalo’s challenges get extra-scrutiny and relentless criticism, while whites who use Buffalo as a stepping stone are praised?