WCCH CEO dies suddenly HEALTH CARE: McTernan remembered as exceptional leader

CEO Joe McTernan of the Wyoming County Community Health System speaks at a December 2021 news conference. He died Monday after a brief illness.

WARSAW — The chief executive officer of the Wyoming County and Wyoming County Community Health System has died, officials announced Tuesday morning.

“It is with profound sadness and regret that Wyoming County and Wyoming County Community Health System announces the sudden and untimely passing of our valued CEO, respected colleague, and friend, Joseph McTernan after a brief illness,” hospital officials said in a news release.

“Joe’s contributions to our health system over these past years has been invaluable and his leadership and his focus on our patients and community will be greatly missed,” they continued. “Joe’s leadership vision provided a firm and guiding hand with an unwavering commitment to staff and patient safety throughout the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis.”

The senior leadership team is handling all business and day-to-day operations in the near term, hospital officials said.

McTernan, 44, joined the WCCHS in August 2019. He spent several months working closely with former CEO Donald Eichenauer before formally assuming CEO duties on Jan. 1, 2020.

A native of Rockland County, McTernan started his career as a paramedic in New York City. From there, he began to get into hospital administration, including process improvement and internal consulting roles at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

He worked there for more than 12 years before ultimately working at Trinitas Medical Center in Elizabeth, N.J. as vice president of special operations, before taking his position in Wyoming County.

The WCCHS includes Wyoming County Community Hospital and the adjacent Skilled Nursing Facility, along with several primary care locations throughout the county. It is one of the county’s largest employers.

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