Keith Safian | Hospital Experience
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Hospital Experience

Turning financially challenged institutions into market leaders

Phelps Memorial Hospital Center

A $230MM non-profit acute care hospital providing comprehensive healthcare for Westchester and beyond; 1,700 employees, 500 physicians, 238 beds.

President and Chief Executive Officer

CEO for 25 years, reporting to the Board of Directors for this $230 million non-profit acute care hospital with 238 beds, 1,700 employees and 500 physicians, rescuing it from the verge of bankruptcy and making Phelps the 7th largest employer in Westchester County, up from 50th.
Orchestrated turnaround and sustained growth, transforming an 11% operating loss in 1988 into operating gains for all of the past 24 years but one. Revenues increased from $40MM to $230MM.

  • Grew top line by doubling the physical size of the hospital and introducing ahead-of-market services, including: biologics infusion center, 12-place hyperbaric chamber, and advanced endoscopy.
  • Broadened market reach and scope of services and secured Phelps’ future by establishing strategic affiliations with Memorial Sloan-Kettering, New York Medical College, Mount Sinai, and North Shore-LIJ Health system.
  • Expanded Ambulatory services to generate the majority of revenue, a long-term strategic goal. Initiated and ran a for-profit real estate partnership.
  • Raised $6 million in pre-campaign mode including largest gift in the hospital’s history. Last 5-year Campaign exceeded its $10 million goal in only 2.5 years; ultimately achieved $20 million.
  • Supported early adoption of Electronic Medical Records, physician documentation and order entry, establishing Phelps at the forefront of information technology. Achieved HIMSS Stage 6 designation (top 2.3% of U.S. hospitals).
  • Expanded the medical staff by 166%; established the hospital’s first residency programs. Developed system to correlate staffing to patient volume, reducing overtime and FTEs.
  • Initiated a culture effort (“Culture of Kindness”) which transformed the patient and employee experience. Improved employee engagement, with scores growing from the 44th to 59th percentile. Dramatically improved consumer satisfaction and performance, reaching the 96th percentile. The new Medicare rating is 4 stars.

St. John’s Episcopal Hospital

 A 316-bed full-service acute care teaching hospital serving the Rockaway peninsula and the Five Towns of Nassau County


  • Reporting to system CEO, transformed a struggling 316-bed teaching hospital into a well-managed market leader with increased patient volume and vastly improved finances.
  • Improved bottom line by $5 million in 4 years. Occupancy increased to 92% from 83% in same time period.
    Led most successful fundraising program with a 90% increase in donations.

NYU Langone Medical Center

A major academic medical center, consisting of the NYU School of Medicine and three hospitals

Senior Associate Administrator; Assistant and Associate Administrator; Cooperative Care Center Administrator; Administrator, Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine

Recruited and rapidly promoted from Assistant Administrator.

  • First University Hospital (TISCH) administrator to be responsible for leading the Rusk Institute for Rehabilitation Medicine and, ultimately, integrating it into TISCH.
  • Accomplished numerous program expansion, revenue generating, and cost containment

Kings County Hospital Center

A 2,200-bed full-service public acute care hospital – largest in N.Y. and the main teaching site for Downstate College of Medicine

Assistant Hospital Director; Administrative Resident

  • Responsible for numerous clinical departments and the 450-bed “E” Building; $9 million budget and 600 employees. Administered the affiliation contract with Downstate Medical Center.
Keith with Governor Andrew Cuomo
Keith with Governor Andrew Cuomo
By following the advice I was given early in my career by a nun who ran a Midwest hospital, “no margin, no mission”, I’ve been able to bring hospitals back from the verge of bankruptcy to provide the highest level of medical care to the communities they serve.
Keith with Hillary Clinton
Keith with former Vice President Joseph Biden
Keith with Senator Chuck Schumer
Keith with Senator Chuck Schumer
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