Wednesday May 3, 2017

New Leader Takes Reins at Oswego Health

Michael Harlovic started out as RN before reaching the top

    Michael Harlovic

    Michael Harlovic is the new president and CEO at Oswego Health.

    Harlovic was approved unanimously by the members of the Oswego Health board and will begin working on July 3.

    Harlovic arrives at Oswego Health with more than 31 years of health care experience, having started his career as a registered nurse and steadily advancing through the years to the position of president and CEO of Allegheny General Hospital, located in Pittsburgh.

    Allegheny General Hospital is one of eight hospitals located in western Pennsylvania and New York that are a part of Highmark Health, a health services company that offers insurance and other health-related services in 50 states.

    While serving as president and CEO at Allegheny General, Harlovic developed successful patient experience initiatives, oversaw some $2.3 billion in gross revenues and developed innovative programs that helped to recruit and retain physicians and staff.

    “The search committee definitely noted that Michael’s career path is a demonstration of his ability to take on significant challenges and responsibilities,” said Oswego Health Board President Adam Gagas, who served as search committee chairman.

    "He’s been successful at these challenges, as evidenced by an unbroken chain of promotions into increasingly challenging leadership roles. His deep experience in delivering community-based health care inside of very competitive markets is particularly noteworthy, and the ability to improve patient satisfaction and employee engagement at the same time make him an excellent fit for our strategic direction,” Gagas added.

    Most of Harlovic’s health care career was spent at Allegheny Valley Hospital, part of the same health care network which serves the northern and eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. Harlovic compared this 200-bed facility where he worked for 21 years to Oswego Health.

    “There are so many similarities, in terms of the size of the service area, the number of employees, having outpatient centers and distance to a larger city,” he said. “As I left the urban academic setting and was seeking a new challenge, I sought a leadership position at an independent health system that was progressive in its strategy and services and one that possessed a strong employee culture. Oswego Health met all these goals.”

    He added that he found that those he met during his three-day interview process were connected to one another. “From the moment I met the members of the search committee, the board and the employees, I knew I was hooked, as everyone was professional, engaging and fun. It was also important to me to find everyone not only engaged with one another, but also with the community as well,” he noted.

    Harlovic was initially hired at Allegheny Valley Hospital as the psychiatric program manager. He soon advanced to director of nursing service and then to vice president of patient care service, before being named senior vice president-chief operating officer. In 2012, he was appointed present and chief operating officer.

    Under his leadership, Allegheny Valley Hospital improved its operating margin, expanded its multi-specialty outpatient practices and achieved the network’s No. 1 ranking for service and patient experience.

    Allegheny Valley Hospital also earned several awards from Healthgrades, the leading online resource for comprehensive information about physicians and hospitals. The facility was presented the distinction in clinical excellence award for five years, leading to the hospital being named as one of Healthgrades top-50 community hospitals.

    Gagas said the new president and CEO has the leadership and skills needed to assist Oswego Health as it continues its transition into a system-management style.

    “Michael’s experience in a larger system is important to Oswego Health. In fact, one of the expectations of a new CEO in our position description was to build on the concept of ‘systemness’ for Oswego Health,” Gagas said. “We’ve grown organically over many years from the original footprint of Oswego Hospital into a true health care system with county-wide reach. While we’re proud of the reach and impact that we have in all the communities we serve, there’s more that we can be doing to act like the health care system that we have truly developed into.

    “Michael’s experience in large organizations can aid that shift in how we define ourselves and the operational steps necessary to achieve true system management.”

    Harlovic earned both his Bachelor and Master of Science in nursing degrees from the University of Pittsburgh. He holds a professional certificate in executive leadership from The Wharton School, located in Philadelphia. He has also held faculty positions at Pennsylvania State University’s New Kensington campus and at Butler Community College.

    Harlovic and his wife, Cornelia, will relocate to the area in the near future. The couple has two grown sons. In his spare time, Harlovic enjoys hiking and fishing.