May 17, 2021
JIM HELMS SELECTED AS CEO
After Four Decades of Services at JMH Eva Benedict to Retire July 16
WELLSVILLE, NY — The Jones Memorial Hospital Board of Directors has selected James Helms, FHFMA, CPA, as the hospital’s new president/CEO. Mr. Helms will take over the role and responsibilities on July 16 when current CEO Eva Benedict, RN, BSN, MS, FACHE retires after four decades of service at Jones Memorial. Mr. Helms is currently the Vice President of Finance/CFO at Jones Memorial and has been also been serving as chief financial officer at St. James Hospital in Hornell since 2019.
“Jim has the experience, commitment, and the hard-earned confidence of the Hospital board members. Our nationwide CEO search resulted in unanimous support for Mr. Helms,” said Richard Ewell, chairman of the Jones Memorial Board of Directors. “In her 14 years as CEO at Jones, Eva has been an incredible advocate for the hospital and rural healthcare. She is well-known to our state and federal representatives and will be missed. Eva used her unique combination of leadership ability, work ethic, kindness and wisdom to guide our Hospital through many challenges. Our board has the utmost respect for her and wish her well in the future. Moving forward, we are looking forward to working with Jim in his new role.”
Mr. Helms and Mrs. Benedict have had the opportunity to work together for a number of years. Under their leadership, Jones Memorial secured $13 million in Vital Access Provider Program (VAP) grants, which helped to fund operational improvements and start up new programs, resulting in a positive operating margin in just over three years. They also secured a total of $23.7 million in NYS Transformation grants for both electronic medical record (EMR) conversion as well as the medical village construction which includes a third-floor expansion for provider clinic and operating room and fixed MRI additions. When faced with service line closures due to the COVID pandemic, Mr. Helms was able to secure a combined $8 million for Jones Memorial and St. James Hospitals in paycheck protection funding and avoiding staffing reductions.
“I have worked closely with Jim for several years and I have every confidence that he will successfully lead Jones Memorial in the future,” said Mrs. Benedict. “He has demonstrated his leadership abilities and dedication to Jones and our community as CFO of both Jones and St. James. He is highly respected by the management team at Jones and by UR Medicine leadership. Our community is fortunate to have a committed professional to lead Jones into the future.”
“In eight years at Jones Memorial Hospital, Jim Helms has taken on increased levels of leadership responsibility that have prepared him well to serve as CEO,” said Steven I. Goldstein, senior vice president of the University of Rochester Medical Center who oversees UR Medicine regional hospitals, and also serves as president and CEO of Strong Memorial and Highland hospitals in Rochester. “Jim is well-known as an effective administrator within the UR Medicine system as well as in Allegany County, which will help him to build on the track record of growth and success Eva Benedict has led at Jones over the past 14 years.”
In addition to his past finance roles Mr. Helms has experience leading multiple departments within healthcare operations, to include facilities, corporate compliance, supply chain, health information management (HIM), information technologies, nutrition, revenue cycle, and practice management.
“Working alongside the clinical managers and medical provides to ensure we have the resources to deliver quality healthcare to our rural communities has always been a top priority,” Mr. Helms said. “We need to constantly evaluate who our customers are, both internally and externally, and work to meet and exceed their needs.”
Heather Lanphere, MD, Chief of Staff at Jones, is excited to be working with Mr. Helms in his new position. “Jim’s commitment to the health of our community and to the stability of the medical staff and the services we provide make him the right choice to take over the reins from Eva, who has been a tireless advocate for rural healthcare,” she said. “I look forward to working with him to enhance and expand the healthcare providers and services available to the Wellsville community.”
“I am humbled to be given this opportunity by our board of directors and the University of Rochester,” Mr. Helms said. “As we celebrate the hospital’s 100th anniversary this year, I couldn’t be prouder to work with the Jones Memorial team to take our healthcare into the next chapter of our history. Ensuring that we continue to provide high quality healthcare to our rural community is a team effort, I look forward to partnering with our medical staff to continue this long-standing tradition of caring.”
Mr. Helms has received undergraduate degrees in business from both Alfred State College and St. Bonaventure University, where he also received his master in business administration. He is a fellow in the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Mr. Helms served over two decades in the U.S. Army Reserves, working throughout global areas of operations and serving in multiple leadership roles before retiring at the rank of Command Sergeant Major.
Please join Jones Memorial Hospital in congratulating Jim Helms!