For a quarter of a century, the Citizens Foundation has awarded the Ottaway Medal to an individual who embodies the outstanding community leadership and commitment exemplified by Ruth and James Ottaway. Known for their philanthropy, business leadership, and commitment to community, Ruth and James developed organizations and programs that greatly preserved and improved quality of life in our county.
The Citizens Foundation’s Board of Trustees can think of no finer individual than Joan Cusack-McGuirk to receive the Ottaway Medal on this very special year commemorating 25 years of honoring extraordinary Orange County citizens. Having over 40 years experience in the healthcare industry, and serving more than 30 years at St. Luke’s Cornwall Hospital (SLCH), Joan assumed the helm as CEO and President in 2016. She was instrumental in finalizing the partnership between SLCH and the Montefiore Health System (MHS), and was responsible for the successful integration of two divergent patient care cultures into a singular care model. Prior to this appointment, she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer at SLCH, and began her career as an RN in New York City. Joan graduated as an RN from St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center in New York City, received her BS in Nursing from SUNY New Paltz, earned her graduate degree at NYU, and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Wharton's School Fellow Program.
Under Joan's leadership, SLCH has earned numerous awards and accreditations, including: Comprehensive Center for Metabolic Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program by the American College of Surgeons; The Gold Plus Award from the American Heart Association's "Get with the Guidelines" for Stroke for 10 years in a row; Healthgrades Recipient for three successive years as a five-star recipient for natural childbirth; 2018 Clinical Excellence Award in General Surgery, rated among the top 10% in the nation by Healthgrades; Joint Commission recognized SLCH as a 2017 Pioneers in Quality TM Expert Contributor; and Hospitals and Health Network's 2017 Most Wired Hospital. SLCH is also designated as a Blue Distinction Center for Knee and Hip Replacement as well as Maternity by Empire BlueCross BlueShield. SLCH became verified as a Level III Trauma Center by the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. SLCH is partnered with Burke Rehabilitation, expanding and enhancing the already robust physical, cardiac and pulmonary services offered at SLCH.
In addition to dedicating her life to ensuring outstanding medical care for all, Joan devotes her time, energy and expertise to vital community organizations including: Access: Supports for Living, Safe Homes of Orange County, the SUNY Orange BRIDGES Program, the Newburgh Armory Unity Center, Hospital Association of New York State (HANYS), Rotary Club of Greater Newburgh, Northern Metropolitan Hospital Association (NorMet), Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA), the Orange County Chamber of Commerce, and Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress. Joan's family is the highlight of her life. Between Joan and her beloved, late husband, John, they have 7 children, and 11 grandchildren.
We are proud to honor an individual whose dedication, determination and leadership has so profoundly impacted the health, well-being and quality of life for all our citizens. Please join us in for the Ottaway Medal award ceremony and dinner on Thursday, May 9th, at 5:30pm at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor.
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