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Lewis County General Hospital controller promoted to interim CFO

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LOWVILLE — Lewis County General Hospital has promoted a longtime member of its financial staff to interim chief financial officer.

Jeffery W. Hellinger, the controller at the county-owned hospital since 2006, has been tapped to head its financial division, starting on an interim basis, hospital CEO Eric R. Burch announced at Wednesday’s board of managers meeting.

“Jeff has done an outstanding job over the past six or eight months,” Mr. Burch said.

The Lowville resident said he appreciated the administrators and board members who offered him the opportunity for advancement.

“Being born and raised in this community, I know the importance of this facility to the area,” Mr. Hellinger said.

Lewis County General has been without a designated CFO since late August, when Richard T. “Terry” Lang left to take on the same position at E.J. Noble Hospital, Gouverneur.

Richard Borschuk was brought in as interim CFO in early November for a planned 12-week stint, with the option to extend the term, but he left the position in January just short of the proposed term of service.

When asked about the matter at last month’s meeting, board President William H. Wormuth said only that it was a mutual decision and that Mr. Borschuk had left a “voluminous” report on hospital finances for hospital leaders.

During the recent periods when the facility has been without a CFO, Mr. Hellinger has presented financial reports at board of managers meetings and performed other such functions.

The Lowville Academy and Central School graduate in 1996 earned a bachelor’s degree from Clarkson University, Potsdam, with a dual major in accounting and management information services and a concentration in technical communications.

Mr. Hellinger was hired at Lewis County General in May 2004 as director of materials management, then was promoted to controller two years later.

Before returning to the area, he worked for several corporations, including Eastman Kodak Co. in Rochester, Manhattan Associates in Atlanta, IBM in Somers and Xerox in Webster.

Mr. Hellinger serves on the Lowville Academy and Central School District Board of Education, is a board member for Lowville Youth Soccer Association, Lewis County United Soccer and Lowville Youth Basketball Association and coaches youth soccer and basketball teams. He is a member of Lowville Elks Lodge 1605, Lowville Free Masons Lodge and the Healthcare Financial Management Association and is a past board member for North Country Children’s Clinic and Hand in Hand Early Childhood Center.

Mr. Burch at Wednesday’s meeting also reported that a 10-year lease agreement with DaVita Inc., Buffalo, to operate a dialysis center here appears to be nearing completion, with the project expected to be ready for board approval at its meeting in late March.

The hospital is proposing to build a $1 million, 7,200-square-foot addition off the west side of the Medical Arts Building’s first floor and basement to accommodate the dialysis center. Upon completion of the building shell, the hospital would turn it over to DaVita, which would finish the interior.

Empire State Development Corp. in December awarded $300,000 toward the project as part of last week’s regional economic development funding announcement, and hospital officials continue to seek grant funding from other sources.

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