The head of the Mohawk Valley Health System, which is in the early stages of designing and building a hospital in downtown Utica, is stepping down in 18 months.
President and Chief Executive Officer Scott H. Perra is retiring in June 2019, according to a news release. The MVHS Board of Directors has formed a search committee to recruit a new CEO.
The new facility, which would consolidate the St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center campuses in a modern complex, won’t open until 2022. Construction is expected to start next year. The new hospital could cost nearly $500 million.
The concept of a new hospital was raised by Perra in 2014, and the 2015-16 state budget included $300 million to create a single state-of-the-art facility.
Perra’s retirement announcement should have no impact on the timetable to plan/design and build the new hospital, according to a statement from MVHS. The board of directors is working with him to explore opportunities to continue to support the organization with his retirement next year.
Perra was appointed president of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare in January 2009. When Faxton St. Luke’s and St. Elizabeth Medical Center affiliated in March 2014, he was named president and CEO of the newly formed MVHS.
The health care executive joined St. Luke’s-Memorial Hospital Center in 1985, becoming the executive vice president/chief operating officer in 1989.
He remained in the position through the Faxton Hospital and St. Luke’s-Memorial consolidation that began in November 1998 and formed Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare.
He was named president/CEO of the combined operation in 2009 with the retirement of former CEO Keith A. Fenstemacher.
“We are grateful to have Scott’s vision, leadership and commitment, always working to move our health system to a new level of excellence,” said Joan W. Compson, chair of the MVHS board.
“The opportunity to build a new regional health care system for our community was Scott’s vision as well as the board’s and we are grateful for all he is doing to help make that vision into a reality.” Compson added.