NLH new CEO meets with county legislators

New Nathan Littauer Hospital President/CEO Sean Fadale introduces himself to the Fulton County Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee Tuesday at the County Office Building in Johnstown. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — New Nathan Littauer Hospital President and CEO Sean Fadale introduced himself Tuesday to Fulton County legislators, feeling the Gloversville health care facility can “capture more of the market.”

Fadale spoke to the Board of Supervisors’ Human Services Committee, relating his background and looking ahead.

“This is where I really see Nathan Littauer as we look to the future,” said Fadale, who has been on the job since October.

His tenure follows the retirement of former NLH President and CEO Laurence Kelly.

Fadale related that he began his career as a clinician, trainer and physical therapist in the Warren, Pa. area. But he was meant to do something more.

“I like the leadership side, the operations,” Fadale said.

He last served as the president and CEO of Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton since 2012. His prior leadership roles included serving as vice president of operations and vice president of business development at Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville; director of sports medicine and therapy services for the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, Ill.; and corporate director of rehab works and home healthcare services at Warren General Hospital in Warren, Pa.

Fadale said he was very enthusiastic to serve Nathan Littauer Hospital, and a community about the size he grew up in.

“My family couldn’t have been more happy to come here,” he said. “Strong health care in a rural setting is very important.”

Fadale said the “great thing” about Nathan Littauer Hospital is that it was positioned for the future by the prior administration. He said the hospital system now includes 11 outpatient centers with one in the town of Caroga being the latest. He also noted a new center on the hospital campus off East State Street.

Currently, Fadale said Nathan Littauer Hospital is partnering with Albany Medical Center for a “brand new” center in Amsterdam expected to be completed in May.

Fadale also discussed what he said was the hospital’s excellent emergency room, and the fact that hopefully NLH will be open more for business after a year-long bout with the COVID-19 pandemic and closures.

“We are now welcoming those folks back,” Fadale said. “We feel that’s very important.”

Now, he said the hospital is moving forward with COVID vaccinations during a challenging time.

During a question and answer period, Caroga Supervisor Scott Horton praised the new primary care center.

“It’s clean and neat, a nice asset for the town,” he stated.

Fadale added, “We’re excited about it.”

Horton also asked Fadale about the “tornadolike” health care industry that appears to be changing constantly. He asked how a small hospital can stay on top of its game, mentioning opportunities to tap into the Fulton-Montgomery Community College nursing program.

“We have a reasonable population base here,” Fadale said. “I think we have a good opportunity to capture more of the market,”

He said Nathan Littauer Hospital can create an opportunity for access to care that also provides employment opportunities for the area. He said he welcomes the opportunity to partner with FMCC and area high schools and “raise the bar” toward more opportunities.

Gloversville 5th Ward Supervisor Gregory Young said NLH has done a “commendable job” with its health care centers, but noted there is more competition from institutions such as St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam and St. Peter’s.

“I don’t think it’s a threat to our independence,” Fadale said.

He said competition can be both a blessing and a curse, but at it’s best it “forces us to do better.” There is an opportunity to partner in the region,” he said.

Gloversville 1st Ward Supervisor Marie Born asked about telemedicine, or telemed, which involves doctors interacting remotely with patients via computers and other digital devices.

Fadale said the pandemic has “pushed telemed forward about five years,” which is positive.

“We see telemedicine as being part of our services for awhile,” he said.

By Patricia Older