Remember St. Clare's


2000s | Photos | News Clips | Headlines

The 21st century was greeted with a sigh of relief as unfounded Y2K worries were put to rest.

The new millennium dawned with a new and improved Emergency Department - a vitally important project for Schenectady’s leading provider of emergency services with more than 38,000 visits a year. It marked the start of Parish Nursing in Schenectady and the much heralded School-Based Asthma Program.

During the 2003 blackout, the largest in US history, the hospital’s recently upgraded, $2.2 power generation system kicked in effortlessly. Plans were being developed for a new Imaging Center and upgraded food service facilities.

Not quite midway through the decade came another round of staffing reductions and predictions of worsening finances for St. Clare’s. The marketplace was changing; increasing numbers of uninsured and underinsured patients were streaming through the hospital’s doors; reimbursement rates were falling short of covering the cost of care.

In 2005, following the resignation of Paul Chodkowski who relocated to Colorado, Robert Perry was named President and CEO of St. Clare’s. He arrived on July 11, just two days prior to the Berger Commission’s first meeting. He arrived in the midst of staggering financial losses. "He is," said St. Clare’s Board Chairman James Carter, during an interview with the Capital District Business Review, "... an experienced, approachable, honest executive with an infectious can-do attitude."

It was an uphill battle from the start and fiercely waged by Mr. Perry, the trustees, hospital leadership and staff. In just under two year’s time, the ACE Unit was opened to care for elderly adults and state-of-the-art imaging technology was introduced. Two new surgeons were recruited; the hospitalist program was expanded; Wednesday’s Senior Suppers drew standing-room-only crowds and the Brown-Bag Luncheons were a mega-hit. Belts were tightened; non-essential services were cut.

Despite innovation and sacrifice and unrivaled mission, St. Clare’s could not be sustained. The end of an era for Schenectady and its people was at hand.

2000s | Photos | News Clips | Headlines