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Daily News

PITTSFIELD — The Berkshire Health Systems board of trustees announced that a leadership transition will take place at BHS early in the new year. The 20-member board unanimously voted to appoint Darlene Rodowicz as the next president and CEO, following the announcement of current CEO David Phelps’s departure.

“When Dave shared his intention to retire with the board several years ago, we asked that he participate in a thorough succession-planning process,” explained Bart Raser, chair of the BHS board of trustees, adding that the board did, indeed, engage in a multi-year succession-planning process designed to ensure a smooth leadership transition and support the strategic advancement of BHS.

“We wanted to guarantee that all health-system leadership roles were staffed with skilled executives and that the board would have a viable internal candidate to consider as a potential successor,” Raser added. “After carefully coordinating the process and weighing all possible options, the board is thrilled to appoint Darlene as the next CEO of Berkshire Health Systems, and, notably, the first female CEO in the organization’s history.”

Raser praised Rodowicz as a strong leader with more than 30 years of experience in healthcare, a deep knowledge of the Berkshire community, and a sterling reputation among government leaders and healthcare colleagues across the Commonwealth. He particularly highlighted her leadership in orchestrating BHS’s successful pandemic response over the past two years.

“Darlene has demonstrated excellence, effectiveness, and grace under fire throughout the past two years in the battle against COVID-19. Berkshire County will be lucky to have her at the helm to face any new challenges that the pandemic and the healthcare industry may send our way,” Raser said.

Phelps agreed. “From working side by side for years, I know that Darlene is uniquely qualified for this position, and I couldn’t be happier that she will be taking on this new role,” he said.

Rodowicz expressed her appreciation to Phelps for maintaining high standards for integrity, dedication, and excellence throughout his career at BHS.

“Our organization has enjoyed great success under Dave’s leadership. To be able to build upon all we’ve done together for decades is a tremendous opportunity,” she said. “I am grateful that I will be able to partner with our extraordinary team of providers and healthcare professionals, who are the heart and soul of BHS. Caring for every person in our community is the reason why we all are here, and, as a Berkshire native, I can’t think of a greater honor.”

Rodowicz joined BHS in 1984 and served in various positions of increasing responsibility, including as chief financial officer from 2005 to 2020, when she was appointed executive vice president. Rodowicz holds an MBA from Western New England College and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from UMass Amherst.

Daily News

PITTSFIELD — David Phelps, president and CEO of Berkshire Health Systems (BHS), the region’s largest employer, announced that he will leave BHS in early 2022, concluding a 31-year career of service to the local community, with 28 as the system’s chief executive.

“After engaging in thoughtful succession planning with the BHS board of trustees for the past three years and with the confidence that we now have a full complement of experienced executive leaders in place at BHS, I know that now is the right time is right for making this transition,” Phelps said.

Bart Raser, chair of the BHS board of trustees, spoke on behalf of the organization in response to Phelps’s announcement, noting that “ensuring an orderly leadership transition has been incredibly important to Dave and board members alike. We are sincerely grateful to Dave for working with us to facilitate a smooth process for his departure and are pleased that we will be able to share more about the appointment of a new CEO for Berkshire Health Systems later this week.

“Today, we would like to recognize and celebrate Dave’s tremendous accomplishments at BHS over more than 30 years,” Raser went on. “The scale of the transformation that Dave has achieved at our organization is a testament to his selfless leadership, his bright vision, and his tireless advocacy for the people of the Berkshires. There is no way to adequately thank him for all he has done to care for Berkshire County.”

Raser highlighted key successes from Phelps’s distinguished career as CEO, including rehabilitating the financial resources of the once-troubled health system, implementing substantial technological and facility improvements such as the Crane Center for Ambulatory Surgery and the BMC Cancer Center, building BHS’s affiliated long-term-care company, developing important clinical partnerships like Berkshire Medical Center’s membership in the Dana-Farber Cancer Care Collaborative, and cultivating important relationships with local and state leaders that elevated the status and reputation of Berkshire Health Systems across the Commonwealth.

“Continually developing new opportunities to care for the people of Berkshire County alongside our exceptional providers and staff at BHS has been the honor of a lifetime,” Phelps said. “I am incredibly proud of our entire organization’s commitment to service, compassion, and excellence in patient care, and I am grateful to my colleagues and my community for having entrusted me with protecting, cultivating, and advancing the BHS mission for the past 28 years.”

HCN News & Notes

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Health Systems (BHS) announced that Dr. James Lederer Jr. has been appointed to the position of chief medical officer/chief quality officer (CMO/CQO).

“Dr. Lederer has over 20 years of experience in leading innovative, patient-focused, high-quality care initiatives in settings spanning acute-care hospitals, health systems, and physician practices,” said David Phelps, BHS president and CEO. “He has shown to be a proven leader and will help our team to further advance the patient safety and quality initiatives that have placed us among the national leaders in patient care.”

Lederer most recently served as vice president for Clinical Excellence at Allspire Health Partners in Conshohocken, Pa., where he was responsible for setting clinical priorities and establishing best practices for member organizations. Prior to that, he was the CMO/CQO and vice president for Quality and Safety at Saint Alphonsus Health System in Boise, Idaho, where he coordinated all clinical and safety efforts, including graduate medical education, population health, clinical-improvement activities, and physician-leadership programs.

His previous senior leadership roles were at Novant Health in Winston Salem, N.C., including vice president of Clinical Improvement, medical director of Novant Health Corporate, and senior vice president for Medical Affairs at Novant’s Forsyth Medical Center.

Lederer is board-certified in internal medicine and adult infectious diseases. He received his medical degree from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill and completed his residency in combined medicine/pediatrics at the University of Tennessee, as well as a fellowship in infectious diseases at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.

HCN News & Notes

PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Health Systems announced the appointment of Dr. Richard Basile, board-certified in general surgery and certified by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine, to the physician staff of Berkshire Surgical Services of BMC.

Basile, who has operated Basile Vein Specialists for many years, has been named medical director of the Berkshire Vein Center at BMC. As a result, he is closing his Basile Vein Specialists practice and will provide advanced vein-care services at the Berkshire Vein Center beginning on March 2.

Basile had a busy practice in general and vascular surgery for more than 20 years at Berkshire Medical Center, and has also served as medical director of the Center for Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine at BMC for several years. He established Basile Vein Specialists in 2010 and now brings his experience in vein care to the Berkshire Vein Center at BMC.

In providing vein-care services, Basile will be joined by Dr. Adam Bowling, a general surgeon at Berkshire Surgical Services of BMC who is currently working toward certification by the American Board of Venous & Lymphatic Medicine.

Basile received his medical degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and completed his residency in general surgery at Berkshire Medical Center. He is certified as a vein specialist and as a registered vascular sonographer, including as a registered physician in vascular ultrasound interpretation.

The Berkshire Vein Center is located in the BMC Medical Arts Complex, 777 North St., Pittsfield, fourth floor. For an appointment with Basile, ask your physician for a referral or call the Berkshire Vein Center at (413) 445-6422.