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Local hospitals to share CEO and services

Updated: Sep. 26, 2019 at 4:44 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Two north country hospitals have announced they'll share a chief executive officer and affiliate as a way to save money and increase revenues.

Carthage Area Hospital CEO Rich Duvall is set to also become CEO of Ogdensburg's Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center October 15.

Officials with both hospitals say the idea of sharing a CEO and services has been a priority for the past couple of years and has to happen for the financial health of both hospitals.

Hospital officials say this partnership neither changes Claxton-Hepburn's affiliation with River Hospital in Alexandria Bay, nor does it change the plans for Carthage Area Hospital to build a new campus along State Route 26 in the town of Champion.

Officials say this does not represent a merger or aquisition, but they describe it as an exciting partnership.

"I think this is an incredible opportunity for us to develop a regional system in the north country where the two facilities, Claxton and Carthage Area Hospital can work together to enhance the quality of health care delivered while trying to reduce costs," said Duvall.

“It’s our philosophy that through shared services, we can not only maintain the health services that we have today but we can also expand on them,” said Chet Truskowski, past chairman, board of directors, Claxton Hepburn Medical Center.

Duvall estimates this affiliation will increase revenues and save money to the tune of $5 million over a 2 year period.

When it comes to employees, there are 850 workers at Claxton Hepburn and 450 at Carthage.

Duvall said, "We will strive to not reduce any positions at the 2 facilities. In fact, we are hoping to grow to a new level of employment."

Duval will replace Claxton-Hepburn’s interim CEO, Charles Gijanto, who is retiring.

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