Kenneth Roberts honored for 36 years as Mather Hospital president

Kenneth Roberts honored for 36 years as Mather Hospital president

Kenneth Roberts, whose 40-year career at Mather Hospital in Port Jefferson include 36 years as president, was honored at a special ceremony at the hospital on May 24.

One of the longest serving hospital presidents in New York State and only the third chief executive in Mather Hospital’s more than 92-year history, Roberts retired at the end of May, according to a press release. 

“Detailing all of Ken’s accomplishments over four decades at Mather Hospital is an enormous task,” said Mather Board Chairman Leo Sternlicht. “Ken oversaw the growth of a community hospital into one of the most respected and highly ranked healthcare institutions on Long Island.”

Under his leadership, the community hospital grew into one of the most respected and highly ranked hospitals on Long Island. Roberts oversaw multiple hospital expansions, including the Frey Family Foundation Medical Arts Building which houses the Infusion Center and the Bariatric Center of Excellence; the Calace Pavilion, which houses the newest patient care unit 3 North, offices for the Internal Medicine Residency Program and the LIAP Conference Center; and the Cody Surgical Pavilion where surgical teams perform procedures in neurosurgery. 

During Roberts’ tenure, Mather was designated and redesignated as a Magnet® hospital for quality patient care, nursing excellence and innovations in professional nursing practice and was reaccredited in 2018; a teaching hospital with a growing Graduate Medical Education residency program; and multiple top “A” grades for patient safety from The Leapfrog Group; and earned top ratings for patient safety, to name just a few.

When changes in the healthcare industry made the hospital’s independent status increasingly untenable, he headed the search for a healthcare partner that led to the affiliation with Northwell Health. 

“When I sought the job of Executive Director at Mather Hospital, it was with the full knowledge that I would be following in the footsteps of a man who is so highly regarded and who has successfully guided this institution for decades,” said Executive Director Kevin McGeachy. “Ken made it a very easy transition for me by creating a culture where employees enjoy working and are encouraged to share their ideas and observations on how to do better every day.’

It was also Roberts’ leadership and vision that has guided the hospital to its largest, most transformational building project in its history, a 38,000-square-foot addition that will include a new 25,000-square-foot Emergency Department and an expanded surgical center. This new building, expected to open in 2024, will be located next to the Cody Surgical Pavilion.

“Mr. Roberts lasting impact was about more than bricks and mortar,” read the press release. “More than a dozen year’s ago, when patient satisfaction scores were not what he thought they should be, he undertook a cultural transformation program — our Voyage to Excellence — that engaged our employees and resulted in dramatically improved scores. His tenure also was marked by his management style. Whether sitting down with employees in the cafeteria or stopping them in the hallways to chat, Mr. Roberts had a very personal style that encouraged employees to think of themselves as a family. It is a culture under which it is not uncommon for employees to work at Mather for 30 or 40 years or more, and to encourage their family members join them here as employees.”