Dr. Adhi Sharma, chief medical officer for South Nassau Hospital...

Dr. Adhi Sharma, chief medical officer for South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017 in Oceanside. The facility, now Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital, named Sharma its new president on Monday. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital has chosen its next leader: Dr. Adhi Sharma, the facility's longtime chief medical officer.

Sharma will become president of the Oceanside hospital on Sept. 1, taking over from Richard J. Murphy, who will retire at the end of this year after more than 40 years in health care, including nine as president and CEO of South Nassau.

Sharma is the first physician chosen for the top job at the hospital. Now South Nassau’s chief medical officer and executive vice president for clinical and professional affairs, he also has served as chair of emergency medicine at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip.

The hospital launched an "extensive" search for a new leader throughout the Northeast region before determining that Sharma was the best person for the job, said Anthony Cancellieri, co-chair of the hospital’s board.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, Sharma "was cool, he was calm, he understood how to handle such a surge," Cancellieri said. "That leadership ability really helped keep our staff going in the right direction."

Sharma called it a "great honor" to take over leadership of the hospital, where he has worked since 2014.

In an interview, he said the surge of COVID-19 cases last spring showed the benefits of the hospital’s ties to the Manhattan-based Mount Sinai Health System as well as the strength of its local staff. The 455-bed hospital treated more than 500 coronavirus patients at a time during the height of the pandemic last spring, Sharma said.

Sharma said he will spend the next few months working alongside Murphy, who helped launch the hospital’s $400 million capital construction program. Murphy also helped spearhead the hospital’s 2019 affiliation with Mount Sinai Health System.

Sharma said of Murphy, "He’s been a great resource and a great mentor."

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