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Helio Health readies for leadership transition in 2023

By Eric Reinhardt (


CEO Klemanski departing soon                           

Jeremy Klemanski, president and CEO of Helio Health, plans to leave the agency at the end of this year to lead the Gateway Foundation in Chicago. (ERIC REINHARDT / CNYBJ FILE PHOTO)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Helio Health — the Syracuse–based agency that helps those dealing with substance-use and mental-health disorders — is preparing for a leadership transition in 2023. 

Jeremy Klemanski, president and CEO of Helio Health and the Helio Health Foundation, is leaving the organization at the end of 2022. 

Kathleen Gaffney-Babb, executive VP and COO of Helio Health, will serve as the organization’s interim president and CEO during the transition, the organization said.

Klemanski has served as the agency’s top official since 2006 after joining the organization in 2005. 

He will be relocating to Chicago to become president and CEO of Gateway Foundation, a national nonprofit specializing in the treatment of adults with substance-use disorders and co-occurring mental-health disorders.

Under Klemanski’s leadership, Helio Health has grown its annual operating budget from $7 million to $93 million, and it now employs more than 1,000 people. In addition, Helio Health expanded into Rochester, Binghamton, Utica, and Johnstown, and completed four mergers.

“I am incredibly proud of what we have built together in New York,” Klemanski said in a news release. “Helio Health is a model agency for serving people affected by substance use, mental health, or housing needs. We have a deep bench of talent that will carry our mission, vision, and strategic plan forward.” 

“As Jeremy begins his next adventure, he leaves behind a legacy of an expectation of loving our people first and foremost, of investing in our colleagues as our greatest resource and providing progressive evidence-based person-centered services that demonstrate the respect and responsibility we have for the people we serve,” Gaffney-Babb said. 

Helio Health went on to say that it wants to assure the community, its partners, employees, and stakeholders that the organization has a “very strong team and strategic plan” that will continue to provide services to those who need care for substance use, mental health, and housing services.

Helio Health operates facilities in Syracuse, Rochester, Utica, and Binghamton. 

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