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December 10, 2020

New healthcare association to serve Western and Central New York hospitals and health systems

Healthcare Association of Western and Central New York, Inc. to assume healthcare advocacy work of Western New York Healthcare Association and Pandion Optimization Alliance

Rensselaer, NY – The Healthcare Association of New York State is pleased to announce the launch of the Healthcare Association of Western and Central New York, Inc., a HANYS-affiliated association serving hospitals and health systems from Western New York to the Finger Lakes. HAWCNY will assume the regional healthcare advocacy work of the Western New York Healthcare Association and Pandion Optimization Alliance. The new regional affiliate will serve 48 members.

Ken Schoetz, JD, has been named vice president, HAWCNY. Schoetz most recently served as president and chief executive officer of WNYHA.

“I am honored to serve in this new role,” said Schoetz. “I have spent the last three and a half years working closely with our Western New York providers, and I look forward to building great relationships with our Rochester and Finger Lakes-area members.”

“We are constantly looking to provide our members with gold-standard service,” said Bea Grause, RN, JD, president, HANYS. “New York hospitals and health systems face considerable challenges entering 2021. The launch of HAWCNY provides a new opportunity to advance the needs and objectives of our members while lowering their regional dues.”

HAWCNY’s newly-established board of directors is led by the following regional healthcare leaders:

  • Chairperson: Dustin Riccio, MD, president, Rochester Regional Health Eastern Region
  • Vice chairperson: Charles J. Urlaub, senior vice president, strategic partnerships, integration and care delivery, Niagara County, Catholic Health, and president, Mount St. Mary’s Hospital
  • Secretary: Jose Acevedo, MD, MBA, president and CEO, Finger Lakes Health
  • Treasurer: Daniel P. Ireland, BSN, MBA, FACHE, president, United Memorial Medical Center

HAWCNY will represent member upstate hospitals’ advocacy needs at the state and federal levels, facilitate the exchange of information and sharing of best practices, promote collaboration among members to advance healthcare in the region and help members develop emerging hospital and healthcare leaders. HAWCNY’s efforts will immediately focus on addressing the surging rate of COVID-19 hospitalizations, securing additional federal emergency relief funding and protecting hospitals from further state budget cuts.

HAWCNY will be a fully-remote operation. Schoetz will work closely with HANYS’ policy teams to advance the local, state and federal policy priorities of HAWCNY members. HAWCNY’s administrative operations will be supported by HANYS staff.

HAWCNY joins the Suburban Hospital Alliance of New York State in leading HANYS' regional advocacy efforts. The Suburban Hospital Alliance serves Hudson Valley hospitals under its Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association arm and Long Island hospitals under its Nassau-Suffolk Hospital Council arm.


The Healthcare Association of Western and Central New York, Inc. provides regional trade association advocacy, representation and support to nearly 50 hospitals, health systems and providers across the continuum of care. HAWCNY is a regional affiliate of the Healthcare Association of New York State.


The Healthcare Association of New York State is the statewide hospital and continuing care association in New York, representing nonprofit and public hospitals, nursing homes, home care agencies and other healthcare organizations. HANYS is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the health of individuals and communities by providing leadership, representation and service to healthcare providers and systems across the entire continuum of care.