Oswego Health Leadership Changes: 2023 Incoming President & CEO, Michael Backus, Appoints His Corporate Leadership Team
At 141 years old, the Oswego Health system is one of just a handful of independent health systems left in New York State, including over 200 hospitals. Staying independent is very important to the nonprofit’s Board of Directors and securing leaders that are vested in not only the success of the organization, but the community is critical.
Life-long resident, Michael Backus, soon to be president and CEO of the largest healthcare system in Oswego County, has aligned Oswego Health’s leadership team for future growth. He’s identified those within the organization he feels will take the organization to the next level and also recruited an influential candidate to spearhead government relations and system development.
Backus states, “To me, a strong leadership team needs to be representative not only of the patients we see but the community we serve. I believe wholeheartedly that this team will be the strongest the organization has ever had and I look forward to continued growth and improved access to local high-quality healthcare.”
Effective January 1, 2023, Backus has promoted both Eric Campbell and Dr. Duane Tull to Executive Vice Presidents and Kathryn Pagliaroli, MS, BSN, RN, and Jamie Leszczynski to Senior Vice Presidents. Barry Ryle, Kim Dec, Theresa Fitzgibbons, RN, and David Ruel will elevate to Vice Presidents. Marq Brown, Vice President of Human Resources will add the role of Chief People Officer to his title and Valerie Favata, MS, BSN, RN will become Vice President & Administrator of Oswego Health Home Care. And joining the leadership team, new to Oswego Health on September 19, 2022, will be Billy Barlow, Jr., as Vice President of Public Affairs & System Development.
As Executive Vice President of Medicine & Chief Medical Officer, Duane Tull, MD, FACS will have oversight over clinical decisions throughout the organization’s seventeen campuses. Tull first joined Oswego Health in 2018 as a general surgeon at the Center for Surgical Services before earning the title of Chief Medical Officer and President of Physician Care, P.C. in 2020.
Dr. Tull earned his bachelor's degree from Hampden-Sydney College and his Doctor of Medicine from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He then completed both his general surgical internship and residency at the Christiana Care Health System in Wilmington, Delaware. Continuing his education and training, Tull recently completed the Yale School of Management Executive Education course in Healthcare Management in 2020 and HANYS-Cornell Academy for Healthcare Leadership Advancement program in 2021. Most recently, he is enrolled at the University Of Tennessee Knoxville Haslam College Of Business for his Executive MBA and anticipates graduating in December 2023.
Tull lives in Granby with his wife.
As Executive Vice President of Finance & Chief Financial Officer, Eric Campbell will have oversight of financial reporting, regulatory reporting, financial analysis, budget, materials management, revenue cycle, health information management, and compliance. He initially joined Oswego Health as Oswego Hospital’s Chief Financial Officer in December 2010 before becoming Chief Financial Officer in 2016.
After graduating from George Mason University, Campbell is a certified public accountant and a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association. In addition, Campbell currently serves as a member of the Finance Committees for Connextcare and Oswego County Integrated Delivery Network.
An Oswego native, Campbell lives in Oswego with his wife and two children and coaches youth basketball for Christ the Good Shepherd Leprechaun League and Oswego Youth Basketball Association.
Kathryn Pagliaroli, MS, BSN, RN began her career at Oswego Health in 2001 as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit and quickly advanced to Clinical Trainer in 2004, RN Case Manager in 2008, Patient Services/Staff Development Manager in 2011, Director of Quality Management in 2013, Director of Clinical Quality & Patient Safety in 2014, Corporate Director of Integrated Healthcare in 2020, before becoming Vice President of Clinical Services and Integrated Healthcare in 2021.
As Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations & Chief Nursing Officer, Pagliaroli will provide executive leadership and guidance for clinical operations and nursing service activities and programs per Oswego Health’s vision and mission. In this role, she will serve as a liaison, in collaboration with senior leadership, to develop and sustain a culture that supports nursing, quality, and ancillary divisional functions and collaboration across all Oswego Health locations as well as its strategic partners throughout the community.
Pagliaroli earned her Master of Science Management from Keuka College in 2009 and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2001 from Roberts Wesleyan College. In 2019, she was selected for a leadership award from the New York Organization of Nurse Executives and Leaders and currently serves on the board of the Oswego Renaissance Association. She lives in Oswego with her husband and three children.
With eighteen years of experience leading marketing and communication strategies for organizations across New York State, Jamie Leszczynski initially joined Oswego Health in 2019 as Senior Director of Communications. In this new role as Senior Vice President of Communication & Chief Brand Officer, Leszczynski will be responsible for the development, implementation, and evaluation of the organization’s marketing strategies as well as overall brand reputation. She will continue to serve as the public information officer and manage all public relations activities for the entire health system.
Leszczynski is well-rooted in the community and for almost a decade has chaired the SAVE Central NY Charter (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) to raise awareness surrounding mental health.
Leszczynski graduated from Oswego State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing in 2004. At the age of 25, she received Leadership Oswego County's 40 Under 40 award and then was recognized again at the age of 32 by BizEventz for their 40 Under 40 in Onondaga County. Leszczynski is also a graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse, Class of 2014. She currently lives in Sterling with her husband and three children.
Marq Brown started at Oswego Health in 2018 and has been very involved in the community. He serves as Board Chair for Workforce Development of Oswego County and sits on the Business Development Committee to help align talent, education, and employers across Oswego County. He also serves on Operation Oswego County's Stakeholder Engagement Committee.
With over 20 years of experience in all areas of human resources, including staff development, attaining organizational-wide engagement opportunities, and building strong human resource partnerships among the many departments within an organization, Brown current Vice President of Human Resources, will maintain his title and add the role of Chief People Officer. Recognizing the evolving needs of the organization from overall talent recruitment and retention perspective, Brown will play a critical role in ensuring Oswego Health keeps the work/life balance for all 1,200+ employees’ front and center.
Brown graduated from the Mansfield University of Pennsylvania. He has earned certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from the Human Resources Certification Institute and a Senior Certified Professional by the Society for Human Resource Management. He lives in Oswego with his wife and two children.
With over twenty years of healthcare administration and management experience, Kim Dec, MPH, joined Oswego Health in 2020 as the Executive Director of Physician Care, P.C. In just two years under her leadership, despite the pandemic, there has been significant growth in five primary care practices and seven specialty services.
In her new role as Vice President of Practice Operations & Executive Director of Physician Care, P.C., Dec will continue to support the development of strong physician partnerships that lead to positive organizational culture and continuous clinical improvements. This includes direct oversight and leadership of primary care and specialty practice operations as well as playing an integral role in the recruitment and retention of all providers and staff.
Along with her work responsibilities, she is involved with the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Medical Group Management Association.
Dec earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a Minor in Business Administration from the State University of New York at Albany and her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Rochester, School of Medicine and Dentistry. She currently lives in Baldwinsville with her husband and has two children attending Le Moyne College.
Barry Ryle will become Vice President of Information Systems & Chief Information Officer. Ryle has over fifteen years of experience in healthcare IT management in both the public and private sectors and originally joined Oswego Health in 2011 as Chief Information Officer.
In his new position, Ryle will oversee all voice and data operations for the health system, from strategic planning and implementation to information security and system deployment. Among his responsibilities is ensuring the 1,200+ staff members of Oswego Health possess the technology and skills necessary to accomplish our mission of providing accessible, quality care as efficiently and effectively as possible.
A 21-year U.S. Army veteran, Ryle has served in many capacities, including a rotor-wing pilot, instructor pilot, company commander, and information management officer, retiring in 2008 as a major (O-4).
Ryle earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Excelsior College in Albany, his master's degree in Business Administration from SUNY Polytechnic Institute in Utica, and a graduate certificate in Cybersecurity from SANS Technology Institute in North Bethesda, Maryland. Ryle lives in Oswego with his wife and two of their eight children.
Valerie Favata, MS, BSN, RN will transition to Vice President & Administrator of Oswego Health Home Care. Favata has been a Registered Nurse, serving in various clinical and leadership roles throughout Central New York caring for countless patients. Her career began in 1993 in the Medical Surgical Unit at Oswego Hospital, where she worked until 1995 before beginning a 13-year journey in the home healthcare field transferring to the Oswego County Health Department as a Supervising Public Health Nurse for their homecare agency. In 2004 she took on the role of Area Director for Gentiva Health Services and served in that role until 2007 before transitioning to the Homecare Director for Franciscan Health Support. In 2008, she returned to Oswego Health serving as Associate Administrator for Nursing from 2008-2011, before earning the title of Chief Nursing Officer in 2011.
Since 2008, Favata has been a true leader for the 400+ clinical directors, nurses, nurse assistants and technicians, respiratory therapists, and social workers. As the Vice President & Administrator of Oswego Health Home Care, Favata will be responsible for the overall operations, quality, and management of Oswego Health Home Care. She will serve as a liaison between professional services staff and referral sources, as well as support the agency management and staff. She currently resides in Oswego.
Theresa Fitzgibbons, RN joined Oswego Health in 2007 as an RN in the Intensive Care Unit. Her career has escalated over the years as her passion for patient care and quality has not gone unnoticed. She’s held positions varying from school-based care in Mexico, to a Case Manager in the hospital, Clinical Documentation Specialist, to her most recent position as Director of Quality & Patient Safety in 2020. As the new Vice President of Quality Care & Safety, Fitzgibbons will have direct oversight over the health system’s patient safety and quality initiatives, ensuring consistency and standards are met throughout all seventeen campuses.
Fitzgibbons currently lives in Oswego with her two daughters.
David Ruel began his career at Oswego Health in 1994 as a CT Technologist and advanced to Senior CT Technologist in 2001, RIS/PACS Administrator in 2007, RIS/PACS Administrator and CT/MRI Supervisor in 2012, Director of Medical Imaging in 2014, before becoming Senior Director of Ancillary Services in 2020. With his new promotion to Vice President of Outpatient Services, Ruel will oversee the Lab, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy, Dietary, and Medical Imaging. Ruel lives in Fulton with his wife.
Lastly, Oswego Health is honored to have Billy Barlow join their leadership team as Vice President of Public Affairs & System Development on September 19th. This newly created position is the perfect fit for Barlow as he understands the importance of a strong, local, healthcare system, and he’s been an advocate for the industry and organization as he not only assisted with the development and sourcing of funds for the 42,000 sq. ft. Lakeview Center for Mental Health and Wellness, but he implemented several unique programs including the Oswego Health Ride-Sharing Program, which provides free transportation to eligible Oswego Health employees to and from work through the City of Oswego LIFT Anti-Poverty Grant Program.
Barlow’s term as Mayor will conclude in December of 2023, a position he holds part-time, and the experience he brings in public service to the position of Vice President of Public Affairs & System Development will be advantageous from a legislative advocacy standpoint for the nonprofit healthcare system.
Additionally, Barlow will play a vital role in progressing the health system and provide oversight with strategic planning, as well as construction and facilities management, renovations, and expansion of opportunities and services.
In his spare time, Barlow co-owns and operates Barlow’s Concessions, a family-run, food-concession business open at fairs, festivals, and sporting events throughout New York and Arizona. He graduated from Oswego High School in 2008 and attended college at Arizona State University where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Technology Management in 2012.
In a statement shared by Michael Backus to the 1,200+ employees of Oswego Health, “As we enter 2023, my role is structured around ensuring you have what you need to provide the care that our community deserves. From state-of-the-art infrastructure, recruitment, and retention of exemplary staff, to upholding a culture in which there is a work/life balance. Responsibilities and drivers that I know our leadership team all uphold. I’m confident in this team here at Oswego Health and all we have built together. And I look forward to the next chapter, together.”