Move to Include Awards – 2015

Joseph A. Ruffolo

This award recognizes a man who imagined what health care should be and can be for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and built a plan to make it happen into his hospital’s strategic plan. 

After a remarkable career at some of the nation’s largest hospitals and health systems, Joe Ruffolo returned to the independently run hospital where he worked when he was in high school  - Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. 

As Memorial’s President and CEO. Joe and his team are building a center to provide comprehensive integrated health care services to adults with special needs and their families - breaking down barriers to care, preventing individuals from falling through the cracks and helping them live with dignity. 

It is one of the few centers of its kind in the country, integrating primary care and other critical services at a single accessible location that leverages the resources of both a major medical center and community partners. 

Also important, health care providers will learn to care for people with special needs.

Early next year the new Golisano Center for Community Health will become a reality. 

This model center has adopted all of the pillars of the SOI/Golisano Healthy Communities initiative – improved access to quality care, care coordination in partnership with 
local human service providers and training for the next generation of clinicians. 

Joe, congratulations on your Award! 

Joe Ruffolo Move to Include AwardJoseph A. Ruffolo’s first job in the healthcare industry was at Memorial, where as a teenager he was hired as a dishwasher.  He worked as an accounting supervisor at Memorial from 1976-1979. 

Mr. Ruffolo spent the next 20 years of his career with Buffalo hospitals, beginning with a four-year stint as controller and assistant administrator for fiscal and general operations at Sheehan Memorial Hospital; vice president of corporate finance for the former Millard Fillmore Health System; president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital; and executive vice president for health services at the Kaleida Health System.

In 1999, he was named a senior vice president at Pitts Management Associates, a Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based strategic advisory firm that counts among its clients some of the largest and most influential hospital and healthcare systems in the nation. After serving Pitts Management in interim hospital posts ranging from senior vice president to CEO at medical centers in Staten Island, Pittsburgh, northern Virginia and Louisville, Kentucky., Ruffolo returned to Niagara Falls in November 2002 as Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center’s President and Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Ruffalo led the way making the Golisano Center for Community Health a part of Memorial’s strategic plan, imagining what health care should be and can be and for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

Mr. Ruffolo graduated from Niagara University in 1978 with a degree in business administration.  He received a Master’s in science, health administration from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and completed two executive education programs at Harvard University. 

Mr. Ruffolo serves on a variety of boards and community organizations.

See photo album from Move to Include Awards, October 15, 2015

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