Rochester Regional Health CEO Eric Bieber plans to retire, the health system announced Wednesday. He plans to step down in July.
“It has been an extraordinary privilege to work with partners and colleagues in New York State and beyond throughout my career,” Bieber said in a statement.
RRH spans five counties and includes nine hospitals. Locally, it runs Rochester General and Unity hospitals in Monroe County, United Memorial Medical Center in Genesee County, Clifton Springs Hospital & Clinic in Ontario County, and Newark-Wayne Community Hospital in Wayne County. In January, RRH finalized an affiliation agreement with the northern New York four-hospital St. Lawrence Health System in St. Lawrence County.
The system’s five local hospitals make it this region’s second-largest health care organization and, as an employer of some 17,000 locally, it is the Rochester area’s second-largest private-sector employer. Its annual revenues top $3 billion.
Bieber has been at the helm of RRH for some six years. His 2018 compensation totaled $3.3 million, the system’s most recently filed Internal Revenue Service report shows.
Bieber took over RRH in November 2014, not long after the health system formed in a consolidation of two area health care organizations: Unity Health System and Rochester General Health System.
As part of those organizations’ merger agreement, RGHS CEO Mark Clement and Unity CEO Warren Hern had each agreed to step down, clearing the way for new leader to assume the merged systems’ top post.
Taking over some four months into the health systems’ merger, Bieber oversaw the new organization’s consolidation into a single entity. The job involved tasks such as overseeing the transition to a new, shared information technology system, an effort that took more than two years to accomplish and involved tens of millions of dollars in investment.
Under Bieber, RRH added the four-hospital St. Lawrence Health System; opened the seven-story Sands-Constellation Center for Critical Care at Rochester General; completed extensive renovations of Clifton Springs Hospital and its downtown Rochester St. Mary’s Campus. Bieber also oversaw expansion of RRH’s Isabella Graham Hart School of Practical Nursing and the creation of the Rochester General College of Health Careers, which was certified by New York last year to grant associate degrees in nursing.
Praising Bieber for leading RRH through “the complexities of the health care landscape,” RRH board chair Michael Nuccitelli said the health system’s board plans to conduct a national search for Bieber’s replacement.
Bieber’s successor, like all health care executives nationwide, will face a financially challenging environment after a year of reduced revenues and mounting expenses as consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Will Astor is Rochester Beacon senior writer.
As a physician, when I see the head of a hospital system was paid 3.3 million $, (and that was 3 years ago), I realize something is wrong with our health care system!