ALBANY - In recognition of her distinguished career in the field of health care, Eva Benedict, President/CEO of Jones Memorial Hospital, will be honored as the New York State Senate 2020 “Woman of Distinction.” Senator George Borrello selected Ms. Benedict as the 57th Senate District’s honoree for her extraordinary achievements and dedication to preserving health care quality and access for the community.
Established in 1998, the New York State Senate Woman of Distinction award is hosted annually to pay tribute to women who have demonstrated remarkable character, initiative and commitment in serving their neighbors, strengthening our communities, and acting as role models.
“Eva Benedict has devoted nearly 40 years to the field of health care and Jones Memorial Hospital, starting as an ICU nurse where she cared for the most critically ill and rising through a series of clinical and leadership positions that expanded the depth and scope of her contributions, culminating with her appointment as President and CEO in 2007,” said Senator George Borrello. “Along the way, she established herself as one of the most accomplished health care professionals in Western New York and a determined advocate for rural and community hospitals. She is a leader in the very best sense of the word and I am very proud to honor her as this year’s ‘Woman of Distinction.’”
“At this unprecedented time in our history, we all have a heightened appreciation for the singular dedication and contributions of our health care professionals. Whether they deliver hands-on patient care, or provide administrative support, or oversee an entire hospital like Eva Benedict, their contributions all work together to sustain and advance the most vital of society’s services – providing quality health care to our citizens and saving lives,” said Senator Borrello. “Eva Benedict’s leadership shows she recognizes and supports this truth by emphasizing a team-oriented approach and ‘people first’ culture within the hospital. As a result, Jones Memorial is strong and moving forward, even as the larger environment for rural hospitals remains challenging. Her example truly deserves to be recognized and celebrated.”
Ms. Benedict started her career at Jones Memorial Hospital as a Critical Care Staff Nurse in 1981. In the decades that followed, her accomplishments and dedication propelled her upward through the ranks of the hospital’s administration and management, culminating with her appointment as President and CEO in 2007.
Her tenure has provided visionary leadership for Jones Memorial at a pivotal time for small, community hospitals. She has helped the hospital to evolve in conjunction with larger changes occurring in healthcare.
In 2015, she led an evaluation of potential partners, culminating in Jones Memorial’s affiliation with the University of Rochester Medical Center. She continues to serve both Jones Memorial and the University as an active member of the affiliate leadership team.
In her leadership role, Ms. Benedict has made a priority of educating elected leaders about the unique role of rural community hospitals. In 2018, she was honored for that advocacy with the 2018 Grassroots Champion Award by the American Hospital Association (AHA) in Partnership with the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS). The award recognized her effective, persistent advocacy before the United States Congress and her work with the New York State Congressional Delegation to advance federal policies that enable rural and small community hospitals to deliver innovative and patient-centered care throughout New York State.
Most recently, she helped the hospital secure a $17 million Healthcare Facility Transformation Grant, an intensive, two-year effort. The grant will help secure Jones Memorial’s long-term viability by funding capital improvements that support new revenue streams. Among the elements of the project are the expansion and modernization of the surgical services suite and an initiative to integrate behavioral health and primary care.
A native of Bath, NY, Ms. Benedict received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the State University at Albany and her Master of Science in Nursing Administration from St. John Fisher College. She and her husband, Neil, live in Wellsville and have two grown daughters and five beautiful grandchildren.
Although the Woman of Distinction Award Ceremony that typically takes place in Albany each May had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis, Senator Borrello will publicly honor Ms. Benedict at a local event that will be announced shortly.
“Eva Benedict truly represents the best of our community and is an outstanding role model for women of all ages. She exemplifies the spirit of service at the heart of the ‘Woman of Distinction’ award and is worthy of our respect, admiration and thanks,” said Senator Borrello.