By Jasmine Willis
DANSVILLE — After over a decade of service, Noyes Health CEO Amy Pollard is passing the torch to another passionate and dedicated individual.
Dr. J. Chad Teeters, UR Medicine Highland Hospital’s Cardiology Division chief was selected by the Noyes Health Board of Directors to be the new president and chief executive officer of the hospital starting May 1. Pollard will retire from this position on April 30.
Teeter served in his last position from 2009 to 2020. He also served for three years as Accountable Health Partners executive medical director. This includes a network of clinically integrated hospitals, University of Rochester, and a community of physicians for virtual fireside chats.
Pollard and Teeters sat with this local reporter to discuss the future of Noyes Hospital and the past accomplishments in the last decade.
Although Pollard retires at the end of April she plans on working part-time to help with the Covid Vaccine Clinics.
“I came to Noyes Hospital in 2007 as chief nursing officer. I came here from St. Joseph’s in Elmira. It was time for a career change for me. I had been there for 25 years. When I saw the opportunity to be chief nursing officer here, I took it, and I never would’ve thought it would turn into the chief executive officer role. When the past Noyes Health CEO Mr. Wissler left for another opportunity the board asked me to step in as interm, and asked me to try it on for a couple of months. If I liked it I could throw my hat in the ring with the other candidates. I had to be interviewed just like everyone else. It didn’t take long for me to get the job,” Pollard said.
Pollard had the same responsibility when looking for her successor.
“I had 120 resumes to look through since it was a national level search to find my replacement. The process took six months and was three stages. We narrowed those resumes down to 16 people in the first group, which we interviewed on zoom. We had six people for the second group that we interviewed on zoom. This included the board search committee. Out of that we chose two people to come on site. From that process we chose Chad,” Pollard said.
Teeter hails from North Carolina. and completed his residency in Internal Medicine and fellowships in Cardiovascular Disease and Preventive Cardiology at University of Rochester. He received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
He is proud of the work he has accomplished in the last 10 years in University of Rochester, Highland Hospital, and Strong Memorial Hospital. Teeters created “fireside chats” during Covid 19 to help doctors and patients have better access to Covid Vaccinations and telehealth. This has kept the Finger Lakes Region informed during the pandemic and led to personal protective equipment for AHP members.
“I came here for residency training in 2002. I had every intention of going back south after fellowship. I got offered the chief of Cardiology job in Highland Hospital my second year of fellowship. I took that job starting in 2009. I just handed over that role to someone else in December 2020. I became the executive medical director role for Accountable Health Partners three years ago, which is the valued based care organization for the University of Rochester and 10 county affiliate networks at Finger Lakes Region. I have been given that dual role,” Teeters said.
“I was sent down when we were talking about the affiliation process between UR Medicine and Noyes Health to talk about bringing Cardiology to Dansville and Geneseo. I was sent to work with the team at the time about bringing that down here. For a number of reasons, the Finger Lakes Cardiology took over the Dansville and Geneseo operations. There was nothing to bring those practices together, so many of them were going to have to close or stop seeing patients. That would’ve been more patients left abandoned or without reasonable access in their community. We provided the fireside chats that were daily zoom webinars that grew into providing ppe. We donated this back to the practices and ultimately buying through UR Medicine the central supply. We donated back to the practices to make sure they had everything they needed to provide care to the patients. Now that has become Covid Vaccine access for medical staff and patients,” Teeters continued.
Teeters provided access during this pandemic to make it easier on hospitals and patients to not be overburden.
“Part of my role will still be medical director of AHP. I will continue to provide my insight with that, but it will be considerably less time. Those relationships will continue. I will still do the fireside chats once or twice a week. We are repurposing them into other business rotation and link the communities together,” Teeters said.
Pollard said most of the work has fallen to the clinical people to handle the Covid 19 restrictions at the hospital.
“You see the trailer upfront that we do Covid 19 testing every day. At noon every day a circle of cars appear as they wait to be tested, and sometimes they go all the way down the driveway to the road. These are people who have to have the nasal swab done for any variety or reasons. We had a little heated trailer for the winter months when it was inclement weather for the staff,” she said. “Once we started receiving the vaccine in December, we had to pull together vaccine clinics. The fast part is giving you the shot. After that comes a lot of paperwork, and you need to enter into the New York State Immunization Systems. You need the person logged into the system, so the state has a statewide record of who received the vaccines. That whole process is going to ramp up soon, since we are slated to become a mass vaccination site in April. We are receiving a lot of doses every single week. We have been told this is going to happen, but the state does sometimes change their minds.”
Pollard explained when the vaccines come there may be a change in the age requirements. The state determines what vaccines the hospital receives, and the manner in which those vaccines can be distributed. For instance, the Johnson and Johnson vaccines are determined for patients leaving the hospital after being discharged. The hospital only gets a small amount of the one-shot vaccine.
“It is more important for you to be vaccinated than to be waiting for the one you think you want,” Pollard said. “We have the vaccine clinics downstairs in the conference center. Remember you need to sit for 15 minutes after your shot to be observed. All of those people need to sit there for 15 minutes.”
Pollard has many accomplishments in her time as president and chief executive officer at Noyes Health, but for her the biggest one was Ann and Carl Myers Cancer Center. Pollard said thousands of patients depend on that cancer center, and she is proud that it is part of her legacy at the hospital. The Michael Saunders Imaging Center is nearly complete. There will be new offices to bring in specialists from UR Medicine being constructed in Dansville. EPIC is being used to change the way we handle health records, and will make it easier on the doctors and patients. The new Noyes Health and Wellness facility in Avon will be breaking ground in April. It will provide easy access for patients off of I390.
Teeters said he looks forward to working with enriching the lives in this century-old institution that is embedded in the community. He has big plans for Dansville and Geneseo moving forward.