Albany Med Announces Next President And CEO

Jun 24, 2019

Albany Medical Center is promoting from within to replace its long-time CEO.

The hospital announced Monday that Executive Vice President Dr. Dennis McKenna will take over for James Barba. McKenna is a Capital Region native, Marine veteran and graduate of Albany Medical College. Jim Barba has been Albany Med’s President and CEO for 25 years:   "It's the hardest and most important work that a board of director does, and that is to choose a new president and chief executive office. And in the case of our board, they were a little bit rusty, they haven't done it in 24 plus years."

Dr. Dennis P. McKenna, 52, a third-generation resident of the Capital District and a graduate of Albany Medical College, was unanimously selected by the 35-member Board of Directors; he will succeed James J., Barba, who will retire as President and CEO on March 31, 2020, after 25 years of service.

  • Watch the news conference HERE.

The board took three years to make its decision. Barba promises a smooth transfer of power.  "The greatest gift I think a CEO, particularly a departing CEO can give an institution, is the promise of a smooth, orderly and even joyful transition. And Dr. McKenna, you have that pledge from me."

Barba will officially retire March 31st. 

McKenna pledges to continue to work as an Emergency Department physician.  "Perhaps not as many shifts as I used to, and certainly not as many as I would want to, but enough to remain grounded in our mission, which is caring for patients. I will not give up the stethoscope. You inspire me every shift, every day, in this growing system of care, that operates 24/7/365. You compassion, your grit, your courage, your intelligence, your integrity, it inspires me and I personally need to feel that energy at the bedside and working on the floors with all of you."

According to the hospital, “Barba raised Albany Med from the brink of bankruptcy to become the region’s leading health care provider,” currently serving patients “in more than 100 locations throughout the Capital Region.”