New CEO appointed for Oak Orchard Health

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 21 November 2013 at 12:00 am

A new leader has been appointed for Oak Orchard Health, a healthcare organization with sites in Albion, Lyndonville, Brockport and Warsaw.

Jim Cummings, the new CEO, is familiar with the community. He was an executive at Lakeside Health System since 2006.


“It is with great pleasure and excitement that the board announces our hiring of Jim Cummings as the next CEO at Oak Orchard Health,” said Karen Watt, the OOH board chairwoman. “He will begin in this position by the middle of December and is enthusiastic and appreciates that he is joining a truly gifted and extraordinary staff.”

As an executive at Lakeside, Cummings first served as vice president of human resources, then senior vice president, and finally interim CEO.

Watt said Cummings keenly understands the health care needs and issues of our region. He provided executive leadership for all aspects of strategic planning, executive and physician recruitment, compensation, benefits administration, employee relations, organizational development, volunteers, and oversight of Lakeside hospital operations starting in 2011.

“It is my honor to have been selected to serve the community by leading Oak Orchard Health through this turbulent, yet exciting time of transition in American health care,” Cummings said. “Oak Orchard has a 40-year history of providing affordable quality services to families and individuals who might not otherwise have access to care. It will be my job to ensure that this important resource is well-positioned to thrive into the future and to continue to provide the community excellent preventative and primary care services.”

Prior to Lakeside, Cummings held a series of executive positions at Corning Hospital over a 26-year period. Corning Hospital is a 99-bed acute care facility with high volume outpatient services, 550 employees, and is an affiliate of Guthrie Healthcare System.

While employed by Corning Hospital, Cummings was vice president of human resources and vice president of operations. For the five years prior to that, he held various management positions at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Elmira.

“Jim Cummings clearly stood out from among the 85 applicants for the president and CEO position, as a person that both intimately understands health care administration and is keenly committed to the Oak Orchard service area and patients,” said OOH Board member Dave Jewell. “There is no question but that we are placing Oak Orchard in very capable and caring hands.”

Robert Q. Hendershott served as interim president and CEO for Oak Orchard since August 2012.

“Under Bob Hendershott’s experienced guidance, Oak Orchard has very considerably strengthened its management and other systems,” Watt said. “He has helped build an excellent executive team, and is handing over the organization in fine condition.”