GEDDES — A leadership transition is underway at St. Camillus, a nursing and rehabilitation facility, and Integrity Home Care Services in the town of Geddes.
The nonprofit on Jan. 16 announced Michael Schafer is now serving as president and CEO.
Schafer, who started in his position on Dec. 16, previously served as VP for the St. Camillus nursing facility for 11 years. St. Camillus is located at 813 Fay Road in the town of Geddes.
He’s succeeding Aileen Balitz, who plans to retire Jan. 27 after having served 31 years as president and CEO of St. Camillus.
Integrity Home Care Services is an affiliate of St. Camillus, which says it provides personal-care services to “help people remain safe, independent, and empowered at home.” It also provides support for caregivers.
Schafer has extensive operational knowledge, strategic experience, and the ability to develop relationships with staff, residents, donors, clinical partners, and community members, St. Camillus said. In addition, Schafer has previously served as an administrator for two other nursing facilities prior to joining St. Camillus.
“I am very excited to be provided the opportunity to lead the organization and continue to collaborate with the passionate and committed board members and St. Camillus team to navigate the organization through these challenging industry times,” Schafer said in a statement. “The collective focus remains to continue to re-vision the St. Camillus of the future and to support our greatest asset which continues to be the dedicated staff that drive the provision of quality care and services.”
Balitz’s career at St. Camillus spanned a total of 48 years. She started as a speech-language pathologist in 1974. Balitz was appointed president/CEO following her father’s retirement in 1991. Her father, Robert Mack, was the founding administrator of St. Camillus.
“I was privileged to work with my father,” Balitz said. “He inspired me to think more creatively, to identify and support people who had a passion for helping others and to advocate as strongly as possible for long term care.”
During her career at St. Camillus, Balitz helped to launch the Katherine Clancy Brown (KB) Rehabilitation Unit in 1992, which has provided care to thousands. She also helped oversee the start of Integrity Home Care Services in 1996 and an onsite LPN (licensed practical nurse) school with OCM BOCES in 2001.
Balitz also helped start a partnership with Upstate Medical University’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in support of St. Camillus’ brain injury and rehabilitation programs. The partnership has continued for more than 30 years, the organization noted.
In addition — through a partnership with Christopher Community in 2018 — she was part of the groundbreaking of Harborbrook Apartments, which is next to St. Camillus. Harborbrook is a 60-unit independent-housing complex, which includes 20 units that are supported by St. Camillus.