Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization deputy Director John J. Wheeler is in charge while Executive Director Denise K. Young works part-time through Aug. 31.
Previously in a part-time position, Mr. Wheeler has since stepped up into a full-time position. He said while Mrs. Young has other matters to attend to this summer, she remains on staff and continues to be committed to the organization.
Mrs. Young is working part time, at two half-days per week, throughout June, July and August.
“I'll continue in this role as deputy executive director, and then will cut back significantly Sept. 1 when Denise returns,” Mr. Wheeler said.
He has worked for the Planning Organization for about two years, and has focused mainly on the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law of New York State Phase 10 grant of $6.7 million. The grant has funded the North Country Health Information Partnership, which has been implementing electronic medical records and health information exchange to improve care for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
He said his role in that has been to develop a financial impact of electronic medical records on small medical practices, in an effort to get more medical practices involved with the effort.
Prior to his arrival at the Planning Organization, Mr. Wheeler was vice president of finance with Climax Manufacturing Co., Lowville, until he retired in June 2008, after having been there for 35 years.
He's also a former chairman of the Samaritan Medical Center board of trustees.
Throughout the next couple of months, Mr. Wheeler will continue to work through the HEAL Phase 10 grant and other grant-funded initiatives the organization or its partners have been awarded in recent years.
Other grants are being applied for, he said.
Mr. Wheeler said Mrs. Young will in fact return Sept. 1, as he and his wife, JoAnn, plan to boat down to Florida, where they plan to stay throughout the winter.