By Dan Hust
HARRIS After four years at the helm, Catskill Regional Medical Center (CRMC) CEO Steve Ruwoldt abruptly resigned this week.
Effective immediately on Wednesday, the move caught Board Chairman Gerry Skoda by surprise.
“He resigned for personal reasons,” said Skoda, who nevertheless added, “I would be the first to say he accomplished a whole lot for the hospital and the community.”
Ruwoldt said, “It’s been a pleasure… but it was time for a change.
“I’ve really enjoyed working here but for personal reasons I need to move on,” he said. “This was more than a job. It was so rewarding to be able to do what’ve I’ve done [during the past four years at CRMC].”
Ruwoldt said he might consider moving “out west” but “how rural is the question.
“I love rural settings,” he said, which included Sullivan County, a place where Ruwoldt took advantage of the outdoors.
Still, the sudden move forced Orange Regional Medical Center (ORMC) CEO Scott Batulis to immediately assume Ruwoldt’s duties in Harris. Batulis also serves as the CEO of the Greater Hudson Valley Health System, a partnership between the two hospitals.
“Steve has been a wonderful asset to our organization and has led us through a difficult period in CRMC’s history,” Batulis said in a press release lauding Ruwoldt’s work. “When Steve joined us almost four years ago, the hospital had just undergone layoffs and was facing significant financial challenges. During his tenure, Steve helped restore CRMC’s credibility in the community and achieve financial and operational stability.
“CRMC is a vital resource for our community,” Batulis concluded, “and we look forward to its continued growth and success.”
CRMC spokesman J.P. McGuirk said the board will likely install an interim CEO in the next two weeks, then mount a national search for a permanent replacement.
Fred Stabbert III contributed to this report.