The White Plains Examiner

White Plains Hospital CEO Jon Schandler to Retire, Susan Fox to Take Helm

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Jon Schandler and Susan Fox.
Jon Schandler and Susan Fox.

A transition lies in store for White Plains Hospital this year as current CEO Jon Schandler retires and turns the reigns over to Hospital President Susan Fox.

The two have been working together for the past five years, a power team, plotting a course through medical technology and healthcare market changes to make White Plains Hospital a leader in the New York Metropolitan area as well as in the country.

White Plains Hospital is in the top 5 percent nationwide.

Schandler, who joined the Hospital 38 and a half years ago, remembers that when he came to White Plains in the early 1980s the city was a huge vacant lot.

“Downtown White Plains was leveled,” he recalls. “I have worked through two, maybe three Renaissances of the city. You almost cannot compare the White Plains then to what it is now.”

When it comes to medical technology, Schandler said much has changed over the years. Referring to innovations in diagnostic imaging and digital networks that made access to patient records easier to access, Schandler said implementation of such new technology made White Plains Hospital a leader. “While other hospitals in the area were closing their doors, White Plains was headed into prime time,” he said.

Schandler also credits the hospital’s Board. “There was a lot of collaboration with the Board to create strategy,” Schandler explained. They are dedicated to making the hospital the best it can be and were solid in backing the hiring of good people.

“In the late 1970s and into the 1980s, the best doctors were focused on New York City, but that was changing because people wanted to work in their communities,” Schandler added. The other element he credits is a good philanthropy program. “Fundraising is a very large source of creating capital for us. Everything at White Plains Hospital is up-to-date and new. Nothing at this hospital is old.”

Partnerships also play a key role in White Plains Hospital’s success.

“We would not have been as successful as we were without Stellaris Health Network,” Schandler said.

Architect’s rendering of the future White Plains Hospital.
Architect’s rendering of the future White Plains Hospital.

In August of 1996, HealthStar Network was formed by Northern Westchester Hospital (Mt. Kisco) and White Plains Hospital Center. In March 1997, Lawrence Hospital Center (Bronxville) joined the network and in October 1997, Phelps Memorial Hospital Center (Sleepy Hollow) joined. HealthStar Network, Inc. began operating under the trade name of Stellaris Health Network in 2001.
In 2000, the Network sponsored the formation of an Emergency Medical Service (EMS), which provides municipal paramedic services to nearly one third of Westchester County. Together, the organizations set an agenda for working together to accomplish goals that, alone would be more difficult to achieve, including cost reduction initiatives such as supply chain management of consolidated business functions including insurance procurement programs and the implementation of a state-of-the-art information system and clinical initiatives such as the sponsorship of an Emergency Medical Service (EMS).
In January 2014, Stellaris became a Shared Services Organization.

Today, White Plains Hospital has again expanded its options through a new partnership with the Montefiore Health System, with White Plains the focus of a new tertiary care center north of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

“The combining of our strategies, cultures and resources is of great value,” Schandler explained.

Fox said that in conjunction with the Montefiore partnership, the Affordable Care Act has created a focus on preventative care that is not only more affordable, but also more efficient. “Montefiore has been a pioneer in this area, having developed a successful skill set that will benefit White Plains Hospital patients in a positive way,” she said.

As he steps away, Schandler says he is excited about the next generation of leaders. “Susan is bright and dedicated,” he said. And Fox agreed that in the five years they have worked together their leadership styles have complemented each other. She intends to continue working proactively to continue on the path they created together as a team.

“The next five-year plan is a continuation of what we have been doing,” Fox said. “We will be enhancing the hospital’s role in the community, building on tertiary care and recruiting more healthcare professionals. With the Montefiore partnership patients will not have to leave White Plains to get the care they need. They will be able to find it right here.”

With enhanced technology, a new cancer care center, and more operating rooms, patients will not have to look to New York City for advanced care.

Fox also noted that White Plains Hospital has plans to provide single-patient rooms only and will be expanding geographically with satellite offices. There is already one office in New Rochelle and a second planned for Armonk.

Schandler says he intends to read the over 100 books he has put aside when he retires and he plans to spend time with his grandchild. But he will continue to play a role at White Plains Hospital in a fund-raising capacity.

Happy to have worked with Fox for the past five years to create a strategy, his advice to her is to “keep on working with all the parties.”

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