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Oswego Health names Backus as new VP and COO

By Eric Reinhardt (


OSWEGO, N.Y. — Michael Backus, who currently serves as Oswego County Clerk, will leave that role to become executive vice president and COO of Oswego Health.

Backus will begin his new duties on Sept. 8, Jamie Leszczynski, senior director of communications at Oswego Health, told CNYBJ in an email message.

Michael Backus (Photo provided by Oswego Health)

Backus will assume the duties that Jeff Coakley previously handled before he resigned from the position, according to Leszczynski.

“Jeff has been part of a team that has brought Oswego Health through a remarkable transformation.  Our small community hospital has grown into a true healthcare system.  Jeff has been instrumental in the planning, development, and construction activities for many facilities with the system.  He opened the doors to countless community partnerships and collaborations.  Oswego Health is incredibly grateful to Jeff for the energy, vision, and heart that he dedicated to our organization and the patients we’ve served these past 23 years.  We wish him the absolute best in his future endeavors,” Leszczynski said in the email message.


About Backus

A lifelong resident of Oswego County, Backus has served on the Oswego Health board of directors since 2016 and is currently the chairman of the board of directors of ConnextCare.

In addition, Backus serves on the credentials and legislative committees for the National Association of Community Health Centers.

In his leadership role at Oswego Health, Backus will manage the organization’s growth and connectivity to the community as a health system. He will lead the strategic planning and development of the overall organization on a day-to-day basis, along with promoting Oswego Health as a “premier regional health-care provider.”

Additionally, Backus is responsible for business development including overseeing physician recruitment, community relations, and capital project planning.

“At Oswego Health there are many challenges awaiting me as COVID-19 has affected every part of our community,” stated Backus. “Thankfully, Oswego Health is strategically positioned to meet those challenges with patient-centered, state-of-the-art, quality care. With a newly renovated hospital, a soon-to-open behavioral health complex, new orthopedic specialties, two of the best run long-term care facilities in the region, and, most importantly, a dedicated local workforce, I believe the best days of Oswego Health are ahead. I am excited to get started and thankful for the opportunity to join such a tremendous team providing critical healthcare services, “right at home.”

In addition to his role as clerk of Oswego County, Backus also led the legislative committee for the New York State Association of County Clerks.

He also has served on the legislative staff of state and federal officials, including former U.S. Representative John McHugh.

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