A highly respected hospital executive, responsible for the transformative change in the way medical care is delivered, announced his plans to retire.
Montefiore president and CEO Dr. Steven Safyer, who has led the hospital system through a tremendous expansion over the past decade, announced his planned departure from the sprawling health care network.
While the board of trustees selects his replacement he stated he will continue in his CEO role until a successor is found.
In a letter to Montefiore colleagues, Safyer stated that it has been an honor to dedicate his life’s work to an organization that has given so much to so many.
“My entire professional life has been at Montefiore and Einstein,” stated Safyer, who has been with Montefiore for four decades.
“Much has changed over the years, but there has been one constant throughout…I have worked with the very best physicians, scientists, nurses, social workers, managers, and care, support and facilities staff at every level of this organization,” said Safyer.
After receiving medical school training at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, which was absorbed by Montefiore under his tenure, Safyer progressively worked his way up through progressive leadership positions, according to the letter, to become president and CEO in 2008. He replaced Spencer ‘Spike’ Foreman.
“Since I became CEO, healthcare has undergone enormous changes,” said Safyer. “We have met these challenges by embracing new opportunities and expanding into four counties.”
This has tripled the size of Montefiore over the past 11 years, expanding not only in the Bronx and but also into Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties.
“What he has done with Montefiore is absolutely incredible,” said Kenneth Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association.
Raske said that Safyer was able to balance clinical excellence with health outreach.
Safyer led Montefiore to achieve nationally clinical excellence in several medical areas, including transplants, he said.
Additionally, Montefiore under his leadership has limited hospital stays by providing comprehensive follow-up care, said Raske.
“I would stay, nationally, Montefiore is a star institution both clinically and in population health,” said Raske. “(Safyer) has recruited outstanding staff and built a strong team. As a manager, one of the things you take great pride in your legacy, and his legacy is superb.”
Raske believes that the doctor’s successor will have a strong platform on which to work.
Dr. Gordon Tomaselli, chief academic officer of Montefiore Medicine, said that he’s known Safyer since they were in medical school together (both graduated in 1982) and that the outgoing CEO is someone who’s been a part of the fabric of Einstein and Montefiore for decades, working his way up.
“He fostered the formal integration of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore,” said Tomaselli. “ In the end, I think it has been mutually beneficial to both organizations.”
Tomaselli said that social justice drives Safyer, and that he is focused on population-based care and disease prevention, as well as the broadest reach of care to as many people as possible with peerless precision and financial sustainability.
Montefiore, under Safyer’s leadership, grew into a $7 billion organization, said Tomaselli, adding “For the college and the health system, he has been a transformative leader.”