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Lewis County hospital CFO heading to Gouverneur facility

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Lewis County General Hospital’s chief financial officer has accepted a similar position at Gouverneur’s hospital.

Richard T. “Terry” Lang on Aug. 24 will leave the county-owned facility to take over as CFO at E.J. Noble Hospital, according to a release from the Lowville hospital.

“This was a tough decision for me, especially given the hospital’s financial hardship at this time,” Mr. Lang, who began working here in March 2009, said in a statement. “I am confident that the hospital administration and Board of Managers will be successful in returning the hospital to financial profitability. Accepting the position at E.J. Noble is a great opportunity for me to further my career.”

Mr. Lang will replace Joseph Vaganek, who is retiring after 18 years at E.J. Noble, Administrator Charles P. Conole said.

Officials at the Gouverneur hospital hope Mr. Lang will be able to manage a software system it installed in 2010 to make it more productive for accounting and fiscal purposes. The system works well for patient care but is not user-friendly from a financial perspective, Mr. Conole said.

“We’ve been grappling with that,” Mr. Conole said. “Terry brings to us a lot of information systems experience.”

Mr. Lang, in the Lowville hospital’s release, was credited with changing the facility’s Medicare Geographic Reclassification from rural to urban, which increased annual Medicare reimbursement by more than $200,000. He was also instrumental in implementing the 340b program, which is expected to bring roughly $750,000 in additional revenue to the facility each year, the release states.

“The facility thanks him for his contributions and wishes him well with this next chapter in his life,” Eric R. Burch, Lewis County General Hospital CEO, said in a statement.

Mr. Lang came to Lewis County General from A.L. Lee Memorial Hospital in Fulton, where he had been CFO since 2006. He also was CFO at Mid-Erie Mental Health Services Inc. in Buffalo and controller at Medina Memorial Health Care System in Medina. Before that, he was director of accounting at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and manager of accounting at Health System of Niagara Inc.

Mr. Lang earned an associate degree in pre-management science in 1980 from Niagara County Community College, Sanborn, and a bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1982 from SUNY Fredonia.

He is a certified professional accountant and a fellow with the Healthcare Financial Management Association.

Lowville hospital officials plan to begin recruitment of candidates to replace Mr. Lang, according to the release.

However, they are no strangers to operating without a designated CFO.

Mr. Burch began his tenure here as CFO in August 2004 and served essentially in a dual capacity from October 2007, when he also took on CEO duties, until Mr. Lang’s arrival about a year and a half later.

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