Perra reflects on tenure at MVHS

For the first time since announcing his retirement, the president and CEO of the Mohawk Valley Health System, is discussing the timing and the impact it might have on the new hospital in downtown Utica.

Posted: Jan 11, 2018 7:01 PM
Updated: Jan 11, 2018 7:13 PM

UTICA, NY-- For the first time since announcing his retirement, the president and CEO of the Mohawk Valley Health System, is discussing the timing and the impact it might have on the new hospital in downtown Utica.

"It has absolutely nothing to do with any of the projects at the hospital," Scott Perra, president and CEO of MVHS. "They're still going to go on, the organization as a great team, great leadership, great board of directors. The CEO is only one position of the organization out of 5,000, so whoever comes in after me is going to pick up and have a great organization to work with and take it to the next level I hope."

Perra joined St. Luke's-Memorial Hospital Center in 1985 becoming the executive vice president/chief operating officer in 1989, remaining in the position through the Faxton Hospital and St. Luke's-Memorial Hospital Center consolidation that began in November 1998. He was appointed president/CEO of Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare in January 2009. Faxton St. Luke's Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center affiliated in March 2014.

Perra said he has worked on many other projects the local healthcare field. But his work specifically concerning the new downtown hospital he said he has helped conceptualize the idea, planned it, obtained state approval for the need and $300 million dollars in funding. He said it hasn't always been easy.

"I'd be lying to you if I didn't tell you this whole process has been a strain," he said. "Certainly there's not too many people who have done this before. We're breaking new ground in a lot of ways and even the people in the New York State Department of Health admit that they haven't built that many hospitals in New York in a while. Certainly there's a lot of stress and strain that's been put on me and others in the organization not just me."

Perra added his role is secondary to those who treat patients.

"There's no one person that runs the healthcare system," he said. "At the end of the day, yes the CEO has to make some decisions, but most of the decisions are made by lots of other talented people all day long. Particularly our clinical group our physicians, and our nurse and our therapists and all of the people who take the patients, the actual business of what we do building the new hospital is not what we do, it's taking care of patients everyday."

Perra plans to retire on June 30, 2019, and the MVHS Board of Directors has already formed a search committee to begin the recruitment process for a new CEO.

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