At Nassau University Medical Center, CEO ousted; hospital continues to make advancements


Over the past few years, the Nassau University Medical Center has been plagued by negative news about its financial situation. NuHealth, the health care system that oversees the hospital, its staff and board of directors, additional care facilities and business operations, has long struggled with operating deficits. The 2022 deficit was reported to be $164 million.

The hospital, in East Meadow, and close to Uniondale and Westbury, serves as a crucial medical lifeline for some of the county’s most vulnerable residents, serving over 300 patients a day, including inmates at the Nassau County Correctional Center. NuHealth also operates the A. Holly Patterson Extended Care Facility in Uniondale.

NUMC is a cornerstone of medical care in Nassau County and the largest hospital on Long Island. It has a Level One trauma and burn center and other state-of-the-art facilities that offer top-quality care to a densely populated county.

On Jan. 12, Newsday reported that the hospital’s president and CEO, Dr. Anthony Boutin, had been ousted in a hastily called meeting. NuHealth board members voted 11-0 to launch a search for a new leader, and named Megan Ryan, the public benefit corporation’s general counsel and chief legal officer, as interim president and chief executive.

No reason was given for Boutin’s removal.

Boutin, who has over 30 years of health care leadership experience in a variety of settings, joined the hospital in 2007 as chairman of the department of emergency medicine. Under his leadership, the department flourished, and moved into a new state-of-the-art facility.

Boutin was appointed acting president and CEO of the hospital in January 2020, and named to the position permanently that November. He led the hospital through the coronavirus pandemic, and was an advocate for state aid to help offset the deficit that NuHealth has long struggled with. In 2021, when the corporation’s operating deficits were reported to be $102.3 million, Boutin told the Herald that state aid is critical to the viability of any public hospital.

NUMC is the county’s only public hospital. It has often been referred to as Nassau’s “safety net” for medical care — meaning the hospital provides services for those who are uninsured and other vulnerable patients.

Matthew Bruderman, NUMC’s board chairman, previously told the Herald, “The fact is that all of the other hospitals are generally for profit. This hospital is supposed to take care of people, regardless of their ability to pay.”

NUMC’s financial situation has sparked concern in the Nassau County Legislature. Legislator Siela Bynoe said that if NUMC were forced to close its doors due its financial situation, the outcome would not only be “unacceptable” but also “an avoidable public health disaster.”

“It would be a catastrophic failure to the communities who deeply rely on this public-benefit health system,” Bynoe added.

It is unclear when the hospital will appoint or install a new, permanent president. Boutin was reported to be among the highest-paid public employees in New York state, earning over $820,000 in 2022, according to state records.

In an interview with Newsday following Boutin’s removal, Bruderman said he had only recently learned that Boutin’s appointment as president had expired last October.

“The board decided they want to bring a new CEO to help make more progress,” Bruderman said. “…We’re making great progress with the hospital. We can bring in someone who is dedicated only to administrative work.”

Despite its financial issues, the hospital is regularly supported by Nassau County. As part of an ongoing modernization program, NUMC unveiled a brand new $6.2 million MRI facility in mid-December. The redesigned center was funded in part by the county.

“The County’s assistance in making this a reality will ensure that thousands more residents will have access to the latest imaging,” Bruderman said in a December news release. “That means better diagnosis and treatments that save lives.”

The hospital is slated to open a new catheterization lab and an expanded dialysis center this year.

County Executive Bruce Blakeman, a longtime advocate of the hospital, agreed that state aid is crucial to its success. Referring to the new MRI facility, Blakeman said it “is one of a number of ways that the county and the hospital are working together to give residents the top-notch care they deserve.

“NUMC is an irreplaceable health care resource for our communities,” he added.

“We are hopeful that the state will provide further funding to keep NUMC viable,” Chris Boyle, a spokesman for Blakeman, said in June. “The county is looking to further its contractual relationship with them for a variety of services that create a revenue stream for the hospital.”


Additional reporting by Brandon Cruz