Olean General Hospital, Bradford Regional Appoints New Chief | Business premises

The Upper Allegheny Health System has a new chief, albeit interim for the time being.

Dr. Jill Owens, a longtime physician from Bradford, Pennsylvania, was named acting president of Upper Allegheny, which includes Olean General Hospital and Bradford Regional Medical Center, on Monday. Owens is the chief medical officer for the system, which is under the umbrella of Western New York’s largest healthcare provider, Kaleida Health.

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to pull our healthcare system out of very difficult times,” Owens said in a statement. “For the past two years, with the combination of the pandemic and the big resignation, we have been stressed to provide the level of care needed while incurring a significant financial burden due to the cost of agency staff. I have great confidence in the foundation of our workforce and I look forward to using the leadership team we are building to empower them, support them and grow the organization.”

At the same time, David J. DiBacco has been named interim chief operating officer for Upper Allegheny. DiBacco is the COO of Kaleida Health’s Northtowns facilities, including Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Millard Fillmore Surgery Center and DeGraff Medical Park.

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DiBacco slips into a role previously held by Rick Braun, who recently left Upper Allegheny.

Upper Allegheny has been without a permanent CEO since last July, when Jeff Zewe stepped down as CEO after 16 months in the top job and a decade with the system. Although no reason was provided for his departure, Zewe started in late February as president and CEO of Northern Maine Medical Center.

When Zewe left, Brooks-TLC Hospital System president and CEO Mary LaRowe stepped in as interim CEO at Upper Allegheny. Owens now takes on that role.

“This is a natural progression with an expanded role for Dr. Owens within our organization,” Jeff Belt, chairman of the board of Upper Allegheny, said in a statement. “With more than two decades of experience in clinical care and physician leadership right here in our own community, the Board believes she is the right leader at the right time for UAHS.”

Jon Harris can be reached at 716-849-3482 or jharris@buffnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ByJonHarris.