Stage Set for Changing of the Guard at WMH

(Honesdale, September 17, 2021)… On December 31, 2021, longtime Wayne Memorial Health System & Hospital Chief Executive Officer David L. Hoff will step down and hand over the reins to James Pettinato, RN-HP, MHSA, currently Director of Patient Care Services. Pettinato was offered the position by the Wayne Memorial Hospital & Health System Board of Trustees, as recommended by a sub-committee after a national executive search.

“We reviewed 23 resumes in our search and conducted several on-site interviews,” said Board and Search Committee Chairperson Hugh Rechner, Esq., “but throughout our process Mr. Pettinato stood out as the best candidate. Since 1999 he has demonstrated not only his clinical knowledge and expertise, but also his leadership and vision for this health system and we are more than confident that he will continue to build upon Mr. Hoff’s excellent service and leadership in advancing this organization in its service of providing exceptional healthcare to our community.”

Pettinato, who also received Mr. Hoff’s blessing, said he was humbled and grateful. “It is a privilege to serve Wayne Memorial and even more of a privilege to be trusted to take the helm. I have worked alongside Dave (Hoff) on and off for more than 20 years, and he has helped build a great team focused solely on providing the highest quality of care and the safest environment possible for the community we serve.”

Hoff noted that “Jim (Pettinato) brings an extraordinary dedication to every role he has taken on in healthcare. Add this to his clinical knowledge and leadership experience, I have no doubt Jim will make him an excellent chief executive for Wayne Memorial.”

Pettinato was born and raised in Carbondale, Lackawanna County, and he earned both a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing and a Masters in Health Administration from Marywood University. He started out in the Intensive Care Unit at Community Medical Center (CMC) in Scranton, but eventually, in 1999, found his way to Wayne Memorial where he was the Head Nurse for the Emergency Department, the Intensive Care unit and the Telemetry Department. In 2008, Pettinato left Wayne Memorial for a position as Director of Critical Care at CMC, which became a Geisinger facility in 2012. He returned to Wayne Memorial in his present role in 2010. As Director of Patient Care Services, Pettinato heads up all departments that provide direct patient care, such as the ICU, the ED, New Beginnings Birthing Suites, Oncology/Hematology, Wound Care and inpatient units.

Despite his hectic schedule at the hospital, Pettinato has maintained his position as an EMS captain with Cottage Hose Ambulance Company since 1982. To this and to his job at the hospital, Pettinato brings an impressive list of certifications—EMT Instructor, IV Therapy Program Instructor, Basic and Advanced Life Support, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Hazardous Materials First Responder Awareness and more.

Both Pettinato and Hoff have been praised highly this past year by the Board and the community for the hospital’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to testing, treating and caring for COVID patients, the hospital, along with Wayne Memorial Community Health Centers mounted a robust COVID vaccination program.

Hoff, who hails from Michigan and still keeps a home there, was responsible for many enhancements and service improvements at Wayne Memorial since his arrival in 2001—including the construction of a new Emergency Department in 2005, a helipad and a private-room patient tower in 2019. The hospital today is also a Certified Primary Stroke Center, a Level IV Trauma Center and boasts a cardiac catheterization laboratory.

In making the decision to tap Pettinato to fill Hoff’s seat, Rechner said, “The Board and I recognize that Jim has some large shoes to fill! Mr. Hoff has advanced Wayne Memorial Health System to great heights and achievements in his twenty years at the helm.”

Photo:  Wayne Memorial Board Chairperson Hugh Rechner, Esq., congratulates James Pettinato, RN-HP, MHSA, who has been chosen to succeed David L. Hoff (right) as the health system’s new Chief Executive Officer.  The flag behind them is at half-staff in honor of the 13 service members and others killed recently in Afghanistan.