A Few Questions With Sean Fadale, Littauer’s New President and CEO

A Few Questions With Sean Fadale, Littauer’s New President and CEO

Littauer’s new President and CEO, Sean Fadale, walking into Littauer’s Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

Starting this October, Sean Fadale will take his seat in the CEO’s office at Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home — and be just about 15 feet away from the intensive care unit.

That proximity is a physical sign of one of the ways rural hospitals can be different from the sprawling the medical complexes in more urban areas.

Fadale’s career to this point has included several stops at organizations similar to Nathan Littauer, a 74-bed acute care hospital and 84-bed skilled nursing home in Gloversville. Most recently, he was president and CEO of Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton.

Justin Dawes, a reporter with The Albany Business Review, spoke with Fadale about the role of rural hospitals and some of his main priorities during this time.

Q: Why have you dedicated so much time to smaller, rural hospitals?

A: I’ve spent the bulk of my career in rural health care. It is something that I have a great affinity for. There’s an opportunity at small organizations to be nimble, to be able to change course and trim our sails as necessary. The other thing I enjoy about it is that as a leader of the organization, I’m close to the employees and I’m close to the patients.

Health care is a tough business, and that’s the reality of it — health care is a business. Knowing that each year we’re going to be reimbursed a little bit less for what we do and everything’s going to cost us a little bit more, we have to make sure that we are making the best decisions with the resources we have and still produce the best outcomes for our patients, at a low cost.

Q: How important would you say the role of a rural hospital is to the community it serves?

A: Without the hospital and our primary care centers, there may be people without local access to care. I think something that is critically important for rural health care organizations is that we’re a major employer in the area. So we are an economic engine for the community because we are a primary employer.

Q: The White House recently issued an executive order on “improving rural health and telehealth access.” What are your initial thoughts on that and on telehealth in general?

A: There are many organizations that need the legislative help, that need funding to be viable organizations for the future because COVID-19 has really wreaked havoc on organizations across New York state. So any legislative support from the New York state or federal governments will be usually beneficial.

Telemedicine is something that’s going to be very important for organizations across the country, especially for rural health care. Telemedicine is another access point for our patients. It is absolutely something we have to continue to explore. When you look at rural health care, one of the things that you quickly realize is that transportation becomes an enormous issue.

Q: What do you think your first move will be as Nathan Littauer continues to navigate the pandemic?

A: For any organization, we have to make sure we have the best policies and procedures in place to keep our staff and our patients healthy; that we have enough PPE to handle a potential second wave or third wave; and that we are ready to tackle flu season when it comes. There may be things we need to figure out, but from everything that I’ve seen, they’re doing a great job here caring for their patients and caring for their staff.

Click here to read Littauer’s announcement of Sean Fadale as the organization’s new President and CEO.

Littauer Announces New President and CEO!

GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. – The Board of Directors of Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home has named Sean M. Fadale, MBA, FACHE, of Hamilton, N.Y., as the organization’s new President and CEO, effective Oct. 5, 2020. Fadale will take on the role held by Littauer’s current President and CEO of nearly 20 years, Laurence E. Kelly, who announced his retirement in early January.

An early morning view outside of Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home.

Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home Board President Gregory Truckenmiller, Ph.D., made the announcement, saying:

I am thrilled to welcome Sean Fadale as the organization’s new President and CEO. We are very fortunate to have someone of Sean’s expertise lead Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home into the future. He brings a wealth of strategic knowledge to Littauer, and a strong sense of financial responsibility, which were two incredibly important criteria in our selection process. The selection committee was impressed by his intelligence and his record of focusing on quality patient care. After meeting with Sean, it became evident that he has a deep appreciation for the organization’s trajectory and mission critical projects. He exhibits compassion for patients with his expertise as a trained healthcare professional. Additionally, he has a successful background in leading a healthcare organization. I am confident Sean will continue to build on the solid foundation of Nathan Littauer Hospital and bring the organization to new levels of success.

Since 2012, Fadale has served as the President and CEO of Community Memorial Hospital, a Crouse Health corporate partner located in Hamilton. Community Memorial Hospital was rated the only “five-star hospital” in the state by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in 2018 for its high patient satisfaction. Additionally, Community Memorial Hospital’s orthopedics program has earned national and state recognition, and its total knee replacement program has earned a five-star rating for 11 consecutive years.

With his strategic vision, Fadale planned and successfully executed the transformation of Community Memorial Hospital from a 36-bed acute care hospital to a 25-bed critical access hospital in 2013—2014. To do so, he engaged the New York State Department of Health and the organization’s board of directors, medical staff, and local leaders. This accomplishment added to the overall improvement of Community Memorial Hospital’s financial stability, saving $750,000 annually for the hospital.

Fadale shared his enthusiasm about leading the organization:

I am delighted with the board’s decision. It will be an honor to lead the organization as the new President and CEO. Thanks to Mr. Kelly’s leadership, Nathan Littauer has a track record of providing safe, high-quality health and wellness services to its community. I will ensure Nathan Littauer Hospital continues to do so. Now more than ever, it is important for hospitals to remain confident and strong during the course of this pandemic. I have no doubt that we have an incredible journey ahead of us, and I am sure that the leadership team, the medical staff and the staff will accomplish many great things together.

Sean M. Fadale, MBA, FACHE, of Hamilton, N.Y., Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home’s new President and CEO.

In 2007, Fadale was designated as a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a prestigious distinction for those in the field. He was also recognized three times by inclusion on Becker’s Hospital Review’s list of “60 Rural Hospital CEOs to Know.”

His prior leadership roles include serving as Vice President of Operations and Vice President of Business Development at Nicholas H. Noyes Memorial Hospital in Dansville, N.Y.; 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, Penn.

Throughout his career, Fadale has focused on enhancing patient care services and improving clinical outcomes by creating partnerships with physicians and practicing strategic financial discipline.

His career is rooted in healthcare. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports medicine from Mercyhurst University, and both his master’s degrees – in physical therapy and business administration – from Gannon University. Beginning his career as a clinician and practicing as a physical therapist and athletic trainer provided him with valuable insights about the demands of balancing patient care, operational priorities, and strategic initiatives.

Fadale is involved in several professional and community organizations, serving as an executive board member for the Iroquois Healthcare Association, a member of the Rural Health Council for the American Hospital Association, and a board member of the Partnership for Community Development in Hamilton.

The Board of Directors of Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home initiated a comprehensive nationwide search with AMN Healthcare to select its next leader.

Kelly, who led Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home to success as an independent hospital, said:

After nearly 20 years, I take great pride in this hospital and all we’ve accomplished. We need a leader who will continue to guide this hospital on its path toward sustained success and financial stability, someone with a keen eye toward patient care. It’s clear that Sean leads by example. He knows the advantages and the challenges of working in a small community hospital. I am confident in the board’s decision to appoint Sean as my successor, and I am certain he will do well.

In his new role, Fadale will be responsible for facilitating the hospital’s financial, operational, and strategic performance. He will oversee all management staff at Littauer, ensuring the organization’s priorities, goals, and community objectives are achieved.

Fadale currently resides in Hamilton with his wife, Stephanie, and their two sons, JT and Colin. He plans on relocating to the area in the coming months.



About Nathan Littauer

Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home is a full-service, 74-bed acute care hospital with an 84-bed skilled nursing home. Since 1894, Nathan Littauer has provided safe, high-quality health and wellness services with a focus on securing appropriate new technologies for people residing in Upstate New York. Over the years, the hospital has expanded its services in order to offer healthcare that is comprehensive, accessible, and relevant to the needs of the communities it serves. More information can be found by visiting www.nlh.org.

Littauer CEO Set to Retire in October

GLOVERSVILLE, NY – Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home President & CEO, Laurence E. Kelly, will retire effective October 2, after a successful administrative health care career spanning 41 years; 19 of them at the helm of the Gloversville-based hospital.

“It has been an absolute pleasure,” Kelly says. “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve the Gloversville community and this region.”

Kelly has led Littauer during a period of tremendous growth and financial stability. The hospital’s total net assets increased nearly sevenfold from $13.3 million in 2001; when Kelly began as CEO to $90 million in 2019. This period was also marked by an increase in jobs. In 2001, the hospital had 656.5 full-time equivalents (FTEs). By 2019, that number had grown to 807.5. Littauer’s footprint has expanded as well, adding eight primary care centers, spanning a total of 52 square miles within the region.


President and CEO of Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home, Laurence E. Kelly

Kelly explains, “I think we have achieved these milestones because of two factors: I work with a fearless, creative team. Because of the employees here, I enjoy coming to work each day. I really like my colleagues. That makes a huge difference. The second piece is that we have invested our positive operating margin back into our hospital. In essence, we have paid ourselves first. I think it has worked. With a positive operating budget, we have saved for our future and simultaneously secured sophisticated technology and improved access to care.”

“Larry has great insight and vision in the health care industry,” says Gregory Truckenmiller, Ph.D., Chair of the Littauer Board of Directors. “He has been adaptable amidst constant change in the industry and had the courage to make decisions others had difficulty with. It is because he took those risks that Littauer has remained independent, committed to quality, and achieved 18 consecutive years operating in the black while many rural hospitals around the country are struggling or even closing.”
“Medical staff who have worked at other hospitals often observe that the equipment we provide our surgeons and radiologists is much better than what they have used at other, often larger hospitals,” said Frederick Goldberg, M.D., Littauer Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer. “Under his guidance we have been able to offer:

• minimally invasive spine surgery
• advanced diagnostic imaging technologies
• critical care telemedicine
• state-of-the-art maternity facilities
• a dialysis center that is attached to the hospital and nursing home.

These medical and technological advancements mean better care for our patients,” Dr. Goldberg adds. “It helps recruit talented physicians to the area. None of this would have been possible without the vision and leadership of Mr. Kelly.”

“Influential leaders are a rare breed,” said Stephanie Fishel, Littauer Chief Nursing Officer. “Larry Kelly is an influential leader. He mentors the strengths of his team members and sets us up to succeed. Under his leadership, our nursing care has evolved, strengthening our foundation in patient safety, clinical skills, and more. Because of him, our patients experience state-of-the-art technology and expert care-givers right here in our rural community.”

Kelly adds, “My goal has always been to build an independent organization that can quickly respond to the unique needs of this community. We also needed to stand on solid footing. I wanted to build a hospital for this generation and the next.”

The Littauer Board of Directors will begin work immediately to recruit Kelly’s successor. Littauer staff, volunteers, and others will celebrate his contributions to the organization and community at an event in September. Details will be forthcoming.

A fund is being established at the Nathan Littauer Hospital Foundation to honor his years of service and leadership. More information on the details of that fund will be shared as soon as possible.

Kelly noted, “I am grateful for the visionary leadership of Littauer board members past and present, the talented and dedicated team of professionals with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with, the selfless donors and volunteers who support the hospital with such enthusiasm, and the people who consistently choose us for their health care. I will leave Littauer with a great sense of pride, knowing what we’ve accomplished together is meaningful and will matter to this community for generations to come.”

“There never is a perfect time to leave,” Kelly explains. “But I wanted to go out on a high-note without worrying about our future. This feels like the right time.” Truckenmiller agrees. “He will be missed, but he has positioned us perfectly for Littauer’s next chapter. On behalf of a grateful board of directors, we are committed to making sure his legacy will continue.”


About Nathan Littauer
Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home is a full-service, 74 bed acute care hospital with an 84 bed skilled nursing home. Since 1894, Nathan Littauer has provided safe, high-quality health and wellness services with a focus on securing appropriate new technologies for people residing in Upstate New York. Over the years, the hospital has expanded its services in order to offer health care that is comprehensive, accessible, and relevant to the needs of the communities they serve. More information can be found by visiting www.nlh.org.