Nathan Littauer CEO Sean Fadale on what’s next for the hospital

Nathan Littauer CEO Sean Fadale on what’s next for the hospital

A recent interview with Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home President and CEO, Sean Fadale and the Albany Business Review:

With a spot on his college football team, Sean Fadale wasn’t looking far beyond just playing the game and attending classes. As for a career, he was unsure. But when he injured his shoulder — which meant no more football — and required surgery and physical therapy, his eyes were opened to a career path. Fadale became a physical therapist, soon after making his way to the administrative side and eventually becoming CEO of Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, New York. After eight years in that role, Fadale in October became the new president and CEO of Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home in Fulton County.

Q: “How did you transition from physical therapist to the admin side?” 

A: I graduated, and I got to go back to my hometown and work in the hospital I was born in, able to work as a clinician and rise up through the ranks to a leadership level. I realized as much as I love patient care, I found that on the leadership side I could really affect a broader scope of patients and fellow co-workers by how I lead them. I went back and got my MBA, and that really started my journey. At that point in time, I realized eventually I wanted to be in the CEO seat in health care.

Q: “What’s a major lesson you learned during the eight years in your first CEO role?” 

A: The principles of leadership, from my perspective, are translational. They’re universal. People want to be valued. They want to be heard. They want to be empowered to make a difference on a day-to-day basis. Those are things that I feel can translate from position to position and from organization to organization. One thing I think that I really realized as a new CEO of Community Memorial Hospital is relationships matter. And this goes beyond the organization to the community, to your local and regional politicians, to your board of directors. I entered this organization during COVID, so the connection with the community and the region has all been virtual. So I’m looking forward to making those personal connections that are going to be important for Nathan Littauer and for myself.

Q: “What was it like starting a new CEO role at a hospital during the pandemic?

A: I have been absolutely impressed with what Nathan Littauer has been able to do in response to COVID, and what our staff has been able to absorb and execute, what our leadership team had in place and was able to continue to move forward. What I’m very much looking forward to is our recovery and how we’re going to come out of COVID. As we’re seeing infection rates coming down, it is now time for us to restart the engines.

Q: “Nathan Littauer has had three new construction projects during the pandemic to help fill a need for physicians in the area. How common is it for a rural hospital to have that role?” 

A: This is especially a phenomenon in a rural area, but you’re seeing it more in urban areas, as well, where the hospitals in the regions become the cornerstone for primary care. It is very challenging for doctors and providers to establish their own practices or hang their own shingles. So for rural areas, you have really kind of a twofold benefit that rural organizations provide. One, they provide access to acute, emergent and primary care. Two, they are one of the main economic engines in regional areas. We are one of the major employers in Fulton County. We have a workforce of over 1,000 people. For economic growth, people look at regions for a number of things. We feel that for where we are in rural Fulton County, we make an enormous difference, not just on the health care side, but on the economic side.

Q: “What would you outline as your long-term goals for Nathan Littauer?” 

A: One is that we have a very strong and healthy workforce. Another is that we become the provider of choice for the region. And we want to continue to grow. That growth could be organic, or it could be through partnerships. We are looking down the road and not shutting any doors as far as our opportunity to work with others as an equal partner as we look to maintain our independence going forward.

Q: “Why have you chosen a career lately in rural areas rather than urban?” 

A: There’s a tremendous amount of satisfaction for me in not having multiple layers between myself and the patients or myself and our frontline workers. I feel it’s very important to be connected to our patients, to be connected to our frontline staff. My office is right outside our ICU here at the organization, and every day I round through our clinical areas.

Interview has been edited and condensed by Albany Business Review Reporter, Justin Dawes

Sean Fadale
Title: President and CEO
Organization: Nathan Littauer Hospital & Nursing Home
Age: 52
Born/grew up: Warren, Pennsylvania
Resides: Northville
Education: MBA and master’s degree in physical therapy, Gannon University; bachelor’s degree in sports medicine, Mercyhurst University
Family: Wife, Stephanie Fadale; sons, JT and Colin
Hobbies: Fadale’s family enjoys watching his son play football for Ithaca College. He also enjoys hiking and fishing.

A Few Words From Sean Fadale: Interview with Jim Levulis from WAMC – Northeast Public Radio

Jim Levulis of WAMC Northeast Public Radio interviews Sean Fadale, Littauer’s incoming President and CEO set for October.

Sean talks about the changes to rural hospitals like Nathan Littauer, the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, and his thoughts on the accessibility of patient care.

Littauer’s new President and CEO, Sean Fadale, during the interview with WAMC Radio.

To listen to the full interview, visit WAMC’s website here:

Read more about Littauer’s announcement of Sean Fadale as the new President and CEO here.

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