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Catholic Health names Dr. Patrick O'Shaughnessy its new president and CEO

Dr. Patrick M. O'Shaughnessy has been named Catholic

Dr. Patrick M. O'Shaughnessy has been named Catholic Health's new president and CEO effective April 16. Credit: Kendall Rodriguez

Catholic Health on Tuesday said it has named Dr. Patrick M. O’Shaughnessy its new president and CEO effective April 16.

O’Shaughnessy, who has served more than 14 years in various leadership positions for the Rockville Centre-based health system, replaces Dr. Alan D. Guerci, who is retiring. Guerci has been Catholic Health’s CEO since 2013.

Guerci, 71, in mid-2020 said he planned to retire, but agreed to stay on until the health system’s board completed a nationwide search for his successor.

That successor turned out to already be at Catholic Health, which has about 17,000 employees, operates six hospitals on Long Island, a network of physician practices, a home nursing service and hospice.

"I feel truly blessed and privileged to have this opportunity," O'Shaughnessy said. "It's really the 17,000 plus employees that truly live our mission and deliver high-quality health care. Long Island is my home, and Catholic Health is my professional home, and I'm honored."

O'Shaughnessy, 50, takes over at a busy time for Catholic Health.

In recent months, Catholic Health went through a rebranding, which included a new logo, shortening hospital names, and dropping the word "services" from its health system name.

It's also planning expansions at multiple hospitals, nowhere more than the $525 million it plans to invest to expand Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip.

Catholic Health plans a 300,000-square-foot, six-story expansion on the grounds of the hospital on Montauk Highway.

The expansion also includes a 16-operating room surgical suite and a 36-bed, private-room inpatient floor. It would also relocate the emergency department.

O'Shaughnessy said Catholic Health will also open new "one-stop shopping," multidisciplinary locations throughout Long Island.

"We will deliver more comprehensive clinical care in a non-hospital setting," O'Shaughnessy said.

Other health systems in the region, including Stony Brook Medicine, Northwell Health and NYU Langone also operate large multidisciplinary practices.

Another decision waiting for O'Shaughnessy: What to do with its nursing homes. Earlier this month, Catholic Health sent out a request for proposal in an effort to find a new operator for its three nursing homes. He said a final decision on whether to exit the business has not been made.

"We aren't ready to say we don't need these services," he said. "We are, however, evaluating our opportunities."

And, of course, Catholic Health continues to deal with COVID-19.

"There likely will be some level of COVID patients for a long time," O'Shaughnessy said. "It'll be at a lower level, so it will be chronic."

In a statement, Bishop John Barres of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, said "Dr. Patrick O’Shaughnessy is an established and respected health care leader on Long Island who understands and lives Catholic Health’s commitment to the compassionate mission of mercy of the Catholic Church expressed in our care for the sick and the suffering and our fidelity to Catholic moral teaching, the sanctity of human life and our love for the poor and marginalized. Catholic Health has an exciting and innovative future under Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s leadership.

O’Shaughnessy joined Catholic Health in 2006, when he served as assistant director of emergency medicine for Catholic Health’s St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson. Later, he became director of emergency medicine for St. Catherine of Siena, eventually being promoted to chief medical officer for the Smithtown hospital.

O’Shaughnessy would go on to assume systemwide responsibilities, and ultimately was promoted to Catholic Health’s executive vice president and chief clinical officer.

Prior to joining Catholic Health, O’Shaughnessy held physician and faculty appointments at other metro hospitals, including Beth Israel Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, and The Valley Hospital in New Jersey.

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