Transition of Leadership for Oswego Health Backus is President and CEO

Posted on January 5, 2023

(Oswego, NY – January 4, 2022) The Oswego Health Board of Directors is pleased to announce that effective January 1, 2023, with the retirement of Michael Harlovic, Michael Backus is the health system’s new President and CEO. 


The Oswego Health Board of Directors felt it was critical to succeed Harlovic with someone who could continue to build on the organization's vision, while being able to evolve and meet the community's needs. Fortunately, joining Oswego Health during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Michael Backus was the Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President working alongside Harlovic and other members of the senior leadership team to stabilize the health system. 


“We’re confident in Michael Backus and his ability to take Oswego Health to the next level and provide the quality of care this community deserves and needs,” said Oswego Health Board Chair Ed Alberts. “Lifelong resident, a local leader, and someone who is beyond vested in this community, Backus will not only offer a smooth transition for staff but continue to advocate and position Oswego Health as a leader in local healthcare.” 


In just two years Backus has been a proven advocate for local healthcare fighting in both Albany and Washington, DC to further increase access to high-quality care for Oswego County residents through strategic infrastructure planning for Fulton and Oswego. He has made significant impacts as he managed the daily operations of the health system, including renovations of the AMS building in Fulton as Oswego Health opened its second PrimeCare location. He has been the conduit to Oswego Health for local government and community providers throughout the pandemic ensuring resources are readily available, and he is extremely focused on the culture of the organization by being actively involved in recruitment and retention efforts as one of the major employers in Oswego County. 


Backus holds a master’s degree in public administration, along with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Le Moyne College, where he is also a member of the Board of Regents. As an emerging healthcare leader, Backus is a part of the American Hospital Association NextGen Fellowship Program and serves on the Board of Directors for the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS).  


Backus shared the following statement, “It is the honor of my professional life to succeed Michael Harlovic as President and CEO of Oswego Health. I thank the Board of Directors for their confidence in not only me but our entire senior leadership team. Most importantly, I thank the employees of Oswego Health as throughout the past two years I have seen us rise to many challenges and I am impressed every day by the heroism of our caregivers. Ensuring they have the resources they need - the infrastructure, the teammates, and the work/life balance healthcare heroes need right now - is the job of our leadership team at Oswego Health and will continue to be at the forefront of our efforts.” 


Aligning Oswego Health’s leadership team for future growth, Backus has recently identified those he feels will take the organization to the next level. Making up his Corporate Leadership team include Eric Campbell, EVP & Chief Financial Officer; Duane Tull, MD, MBA, FACS, EVP of Medicine & Chief Medical Officer; Jamie Leszczynski, SVP of Communications & Chief Brand Officer; Kathryn Pagliaroli, MS, BSN, RN, SVP of Clinical Operations & Chief Nursing Officer;  Billy Barlow, VP of Public Affairs & System Development; Marquand Brown, VP of Human Resources & Chief People Officer; Kim Dec, MPH, VP of Practice Operations & Executive Director of Physician Care, PC; Valerie Favata, MSN, BSN, RN, VP & Administrator of Oswego Health Home Care; Theresa Fitzgibbons, RN, VP of Quality Care & Safety; David Ruel, VP of Ancillary Services; Barry Ryle, VP of Information Systems & Chief Information Officer; Micheal Stephens, BSc, MD, AAFP, Associate Chief Medical Officer.  



About Oswego Health:  
The mission of Oswego Health is to provide accessible, quality care and improve the health of residents throughout Oswego County. As a nonprofit healthcare system established in 1881, Oswego Health is proud to continue to be one of Oswego County’s largest employers. More than 1,200 employees spread throughout its 17 locations, work for the Oswego Health system, which includes the 132-bed community Oswego Hospital, a 32-bed psychiatric acute-care facility with multiple outpatient behavioral health service locations, The Manor at Seneca Hill, a 120-bed skilled nursing facility, and Springside at Seneca Hill, an independent retirement community.  The health system also operates Oswego Health Home Care, the only hospital-based certified home healthcare agency in the County as well as two outpatient centers, including the Fulton Medical Center, offering urgent care, lab, medical imaging, physical therapy, and occupational health services, and the Central Square Medical Center, offering urgent care, lab, medical imaging, and physical therapy services. In addition, Oswego Health includes the Oswego Health captive professional corporation, Physician Care P.C., providing physician services in orthopedics, cardiology, ENT, gastroenterology, breast care, audiology, general surgery, bariatrics, and primary care. For more information about Oswego Health, please visit our website at

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