Gouverneur Hospital gets new CEO, former chief to take administrative post at Canton-Potsdam Hospital
Monday, January 9, 2017 - 5:42 pm

GOUVERNEUR -- Gouverneur Hospital has a new CEO.

As of Tuesday, David Bender, vice president of strategic planning and business development for St. Lawrence Health System, will take the reins.David Bender

He replaces Marlinda L. LaValley, who worked as Gouverneur Hospital's inaugural CEO from the hospital's opening in December 2013. She will resume her former duties as vice president of administrative services for Canton-Potsdam Hospital (CPH) in Potsdam.

Before joining St. Lawrence Health System, Bender was a senior strategy consultant with OptumInsight, a healthcare and human services consultancy firm with locations across the United States and around the world.

He worked most recently in the Accountable Care Solutions Practice of OptumInsight, providing support to health systems' decisions to initiate Accountable Care Organizations. In that capacity, he provided analysis and guidance to hospitals across the United States, including Canton-Potsdam Hospital.

He was also a vice president with OptumInsight/Ingenix Consulting's Strategy and Governance Practice, where he led strategy projects for solo hospitals and hospital systems.

Between 2006 and 2009, he led the Provider Practice at the Lewin Group, now a subsidiary of Optum. In this role, he was responsible for providing guidance and counsel to hospitals and health systems related to strategic planning, medical staff development, merger and affiliation analysis and planning, and opportunity analysis and health needs assessment. Prior to this, Bender was a principal in Ernst and Young's Health Sciences Advisory Services Practice.

Bender completed his bachelor's degree at Bethel College and a master of science in public health and health services management at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He volunteers his time as a member of the Canton Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Cynthia, live in Canton.

SLHS officials say they praise LaValley for her leadership in seeing the Gouverneur community through troubled times.

"Marlinda LaValley had exactly the skill-set and vision we needed to place Gouverneur Hospital on a firm footing," Michael Burgess, chairman of the Gouverneur Hospital Board of Directors said in a prepared statement. "She stepped into a crisis situation when the former E. J. Noble (EJN) Hospital failed and served as our interim CEO, then as CEO of EJN/Kinney Nursing Home. Following her appointment as the CEO of Gouverneur Hospital, she saw the Hospital through its conversion to Critical Access Status, she expanded services, supported employees to achieve high standards for quality and service, and has secured partnerships to create sustainable healthcare for this region.”

“Marlinda will be missed by the Gouverneur community, but has left the hospital in a strong position. Dave Bender's background and experience will be of great benefit as we enter the next stage of Gouverneur Hospital's evolution,” Edward Mucenski, chairman of the St. Lawrence Health System said in the release.

Gouverneur Hospital’s website is www.gvnrhospital.org.