Mary E. LaRowe, who had held various health-care administrative roles in western New York over the past two decades, began Jan. 1 as president and chief executive officer of St. James Mercy Health System in Hornell.
LaRowe replaces Pamela Urban, who served for one year as interim president/CEO after her predecessor, Clarence R. LaLiberty Jr., took a similar position with St. Francis Healthcare System in Wilmington, Del.
She comes to St. James Mercy having served since 2004 as president of the Western New York Healthcare Association and executive vice president of the Healthcare Association of New York State. As an advocate for the HANYS/WNYHA membership, LaRowe worked with legislative and business leaders on such health-care issues as access to care, reimbursement and quality/price transparency.
LaRowe was president/CEO of Westfield Memorial Hospital in Chautauqua County from 1999-2004. She oversaw financial improvement of the small rural hospital, helping strengthen its affiliation with Saint Vincent Health System in Erie, Pa.
In the 1990s LaRowe was senior vice president at Batavia’s Genesee Memorial Hospital, just prior to its merger with St. Jerome Hospital to become United Memorial Medical Center.
She began her career at Buffalo General Hospital as a registered nurse before moving to the state Department of Health office in Buffalo, where she coordinated hospital surveillance and certificate-of-need activities.
She was born and raised in Hamburg. She has a bachelor’s degree in nursing from D’Youville College and a master’s degree in business administration from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
“We are thrilled that Mary LaRowe has accepted this appointment,” Sylvia Bryant, chair of St. James Mercy’s board of directors, said in a statement. “She is a committed and compassionate leader who comes to us with a wealth of experience in the New York state health-care environment, as well as a keen understanding of rural health-care issues.”
LaRowe acknowledged to the Catholic Courier that she feels quite comfortable with the rural aspects of St. James Mercy’s service area, saying the atmosphere is “a more family environment, which is always kind of nice.”
“I’ve been duly impressed with the staff and commitment,” LaRowe added. “There’s some great talent here. My purpose is to kind of get that talent out there, and let people know what we have to offer here.”
In addition to LaRowe’s appointment, St. James Mercy announced in early December the appointment of Jennifer Sullivan as chief financial officer. She had been in that position on an interim basis since July 2006 when the previous CFO, David Capone, became executive vice president and CFO at St. Francis Healthcare System in Wilmington, Del.
Sullivan had been St. James Mercy’s director of finance since 2003. Prior to joining St. James Mercy, she was a manager for Arthur Andersen LLP in Rochester and also has held positions with Unity Health System in Rochester as well as KPMG Peat Marwick in Boston, Mass. She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting from Ithaca College and is a certified public accountant.
St. James Mercy was established in 1890 and is sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of Rochester. It is one of two Catholic hospitals in the Diocese of Rochester, the other being St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira. Since 1997 St. James Mercy has been aligned with Catholic Health East, a coalition of Catholic health-care institutions operating in 11 states.