In almost the same breath, Maimonides Medical Center has announced two big moves.
The Borough Park hospital, on Wednesday, August 19 announced that it has entered into a “strategic partnership” with North Shore-LIJ Health System, less than half an hour before reporting that President and CEO Pamela Brier will retire at the beginning of 2016, to be succeeded by the current Chair of the Maimonides Board of Trustees, Kenneth Gibbs.
According to officials, North Shore-LIJ and Maimonides have decided to pursue “a full integration in a phased approach” that will begin immediately and allow both institutions to operate as-is with “independence and separate governance structures.”
The partnership, officials say, will be composed of joint ventures that will “strengthen Maimonides and expand its leadership role in the region” with North Shore-LIJ helping to expand Maimonides’ outpatient reach while also investing in the Brooklyn hospital’s infrastructure.
“Pam Brier has built an organization focused on excellence with an unwavering commitment to meeting the health care needs of the communities served by the hospital,” said Michael Dowling, North Shore-LIJ’s president and CEO. “We look forward to combining our complementary strengths as we work with the Maimonides board and management team to identify other opportunities to meet the critical health needs of the borough’s 2.6 million residents.”
“North Shore-LIJ will be a great partner for Maimonides,” said Brier, who joined Maimonides in 1995 as chief operating officer and executive vice president before dropping the “vice” and picking up “CEO” in 2003. She has 35 years of healthcare experience under her belt, having previously served for over 15 years at the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, as chief financial officer, executive VP, and as the executive director of Jacobi Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital Center.
Under Brier’s leadership, Maimonides has ranked among the top 10 hospitals in the country for heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia treatment. She also oversaw construction of the borough’s only full service cancer and breast centers, as well as the Payson Birthing Center where more babies are delivered than at any other hospital in the state.
“We share a common vision about the need to find innovative approaches for managing care and keeping people healthy,” Brier said, “and we have common values about putting patients first and supporting the doctors and other staff who care for them. This partnership with North Shore will – simply put – make an enormous difference in our ability to take better care of people who live in Brooklyn.”
As for her retirement, Brier said, “I’ve been thinking about my next act for a while now. Having Ken Gibbs take on this role is good timing and good sense.
“Ken has excelled in a long career in public finance, and his life has been distinguished by a focus on public service, making him a perfect fit for the job,” lauded Brier. “It was our mission that first attracted Ken to Maimonides Medical Center, and I know he will do an outstanding job building on our successes.”
Gibbs – who first joined the board in May of 2013 – attributed much of Maimonides’ success to Brier’s tireless leadership.
“There is no one quite like Pam Brier,” he said. “It is impossible to count the number of lives she has touched as the extraordinary leader of Maimonides Medical Center, working tirelessly alongside a dedicated staff. In addition to her many accomplishments in expanding services to meet community needs, Pam’s focus on teamwork and respect has been the bedrock of her tenure.”
As for the hospital’s new partnership, Gibbs said, “Everyone is a winner today.”
For the past six years, Gibbs has served as president of the Municipal Securities Group at Jefferies, LLC. He will step down from this position, as well as his position as chair, before taking over for Brier.