Mohawk Valley Health System,
Vice President of Philanthropy

Utica, NY


The Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS) was created in March 2014 from the affiliation of Faxton St. Luke’s Healthcare and St. Elizabeth Medical Center.

With the opportunity to build a new regional health system, MVHS will soon launch a capital campaign to support the construction of a new $480 million health care campus to serve the region’s growing health needs, train more clinicians, and conduct biomedical research. The new campus, which will replace the two aging hospitals, will be the third new hospital built in New York in over 20 years. $300M has been committed by the state of New York through a Health Care Facility Transformation grant, $150M will come through financing by MVHS, with the remainder supported by philanthropy.

MVHS has 25 primary care and specialty care offices located throughout Oneida and Herkimer counties, and include a Women’s and Children’s Health Center and multi-specialty providers including general, orthopedic, vascular and cardiac and thoracic surgery, gastroenterology and advanced endoscopy, and neuro sciences. The Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center provides patient care services and is also a teaching facility for new physicians.

In addition to primary care and teaching, MVHS is committed to biomedical research that reaches well beyond the Mohawk Valley. Recently, MVHS announced a new collaboration with the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory. The collaboration will bring under one roof a leader in the research of genetic screening of inherited cardiac arrhythmia diseases, especially those responsible for sudden cardiac death.

MVHS provides a wide range of services for the communities including:

• St. Luke’s Campus with 370 acute care beds
• St. Elizabeth Campus with 204 acute care beds
• St. Luke’s Home with 202 long-term care beds
• St. Elizabeth College of Nursing
• St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency Program
• Dental Residency Program
• GYN Surgical Fellowship
• Hospitalist Fellowship
• Senior Network Health, a Medicaid Managed Care Program
• Visiting Nurse Association of Utica and Oneida County
• Dialysis Program with six outpatient centers
• Twenty five primary and specialty care medical offices

As Utica has become more culturally diverse, MVHS has responded to a changing community with people and ethnicities from around the world.

Language Assistance Program
MVHS provides services for approximately 40 different languages. Its team of translators supports 10 differ¬ent languages including Arabic, Bosnian, Burmese, Cambodian, Russian, Ukrainian, Somali, Spanish, Maay-Maay and Vietnamese, and handle more than 20,000 patient encounters every year.

MVHS Partnership with the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees (MVRCR)
MVHS partners with the MVRCR to create employment oppor¬tunities for refugees in support services like Environmental and Nutrition Services and Laundry. MVHS hires candidates to fill open positions and refugees are given the opportunity to work in the community, helping them get acclimated to a new culture and build a new life.

Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center
The Sister Rose Vincent Family Medicine Center (SRVFMC) provides care to many of the native, immigrant and refugee members of the Mohawk Valley. Of the MVHS Medical Group’s 25 primary and communi¬ty care sites, the Family Medicine Center serves the largest number of outpatients with approximately 30,000 visits per year.

MVHS has more than 4,000 employees (FTEs), an operating budget of $532 million, 571 acute care beds and 202 long-term care beds. In 2016, it had over 78,000 emergency visits and nearly 24,000 patient admissions for the system.

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Utica is located in the heart of the Mohawk Valley in central New York. Settled during the French and Indian War, Utica’s sense of community emanates from its history and offers the charm of small-city living balanced with cultural diversity of an international urban center. Utica is a true scenic city that offers the pleasures of both a rural and urban setting.

At the turn of the century, Italian, German, Polish and Irish immigrants were drawn to Utica’s mills and many started their own businesses. Today, Utica’s green initiatives, entrepreneurial success, and large refugee population influxes have renovated and transformed entire neighborhoods. Utica is the cultural melting pot of upstate New York, with over 40 languages and 50 nationalities represented. Utica has been shaped for decades by its policy of welcoming refugees from Somalia, Iraq, Thailand, Vietnam, Bosnia, among others.

Utica is a college town with six colleges offering a myriad of degrees and doctorate programs. From the humanities, to technology and engineering, these colleges have had a major impact on the global economy. In Utica and the surrounding areas are Utica College, Hamilton College, Colgate University, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute. Synergies with educational institutions and universities such as SUNY Polytechnic Institute and Utica College are coordinated to achieve increased employment levels. Located at SUNY Poly, the Marcy Nanocenter is a 450-acre greenfield site being developed for the semiconductor industry.

The city is also located at the foot of the Adirondack Park, a region that has always been highly attractive to nature and outdoor sports lovers. At over 9,300 square miles, the Adirondack is the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States, greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Parks combined.


The Vice President of Philanthropy will report to Scott Perra, the CEO of MVHS who has been with the hospital since 1985 and in the CEO role since 2009.

The Vice President of Philanthropy will serve as the lead architect overseeing the development of a comprehensive capital campaign that will support the construction and continuation of the new hospital. Working extensively with the hospital and MVHS and MVHS Foundation boards, the Vice President will develop and implement the strategy for a campaign that is expected to raise between $25-30M through philanthropy.

As a member of the MVHS senior management team, s/he will work towards building a culture of philanthropy throughout the organization. Given the importance of the new hospital to the region for generations to come, the Vice President will actively promote an organizational culture where all internal stakeholders including board, staff, volunteers, physicians and vendors, understand and commit to playing significant personal roles in the campaign’s success.

The Vice President must be focused, strategic, and possess exceptional planning and management skills. S/he will direct and manage the Foundation team, which presently comprises 7 staff members. S/he must be a skillful staff leader, effective in recruiting, supervising, and mentoring a talented group of professionals.

This will be a very externally facing role with significant community visibility. The Vice President is charged with maintaining strong external relationships with community and business leaders, including major donors to the institution, as well as others who may influence giving going forward. S/he will also work alongside the MVHS CEO and MVHS Senior Team with elected and government leaders as it pertains to public resources to support the campaign.

In addition to developing overall development strategies, the Vice President will also manage his or her own significant portfolio of principal gift donors. S/he will create and execute strategies that effectively cultivate, solicit, and close gifts, either through the CEO’s engagement or independently.



• The Vice President will play an active role in planning and implementing a comprehensive fund raising program to identify, evaluate, cultivate and solicit prospects with the potential to contribute significant gifts.

• Propose, fine-tune and implement current and new development initiatives, campaigns, events, and outreach programs that engage and excite the community, entice community members to support MVHS, and encourage current donors into higher levels of support.

• In collaboration with the hospital and MVHS and Foundation Boards, develop short- and long-term fundraising strategies to support the campaign as well as ongoing programs.

• Serve as a dynamic leader in building and maintaining a focused culture of philanthropy with MVHS senior team leaders, board members, and stakeholders.

• Serves as primary liaison to management team, MVHS boards, corporate executives and other community volunteer leaders in generating financial support for service, research and education programs. Serves as the primary resource to all sectors of the community with respect to fundraising for the Foundation.

• Educates, encourages and supports boards, administrators, and members of the medical staff in the promotion and collective pursuit of major gifts.

• Manage his/her own major gift portfolio, to identify and successfully cultivate individual six-figure leadership gifts.

• Oversee all fundraising events and recognition programs to recognize donors, volunteers and other members of the MVHS community for their efforts.

• Represents MVHS Foundation at public and private events. Serve as an articulate spokesperson to the donor community and a variety of key constituencies to enhance recognition and support of MVHS.

• Communicate the MVHS goals and funding priorities to individuals, foundations, corporations, and organizations on a local and regional basis.

• Direct the planning and solicitation of Major Giving, Annual Appeals, and Planned Giving programs. Ensure the coordination of fund raising activities with the requirements and long-range plans as approved by MVHS Board.

• Participate in and oversee the design and implementation of a systematic education and communication program with major gift donors and prospects to facilitate and optimize their on-going interest and support.

• Provide direction and oversight in the counseling of donors and their advisors regarding the formulation of gift plans and methods of participation in activities that benefit MVHS.

• Hire, train, supervise and evaluate performance of Foundation staff.

• Provide appropriate oversight of development systems and procedures; control expenses associated with MVHS fundraising and accurately report the results in compliance with standards set by the CEO.



• Prior experience leading all phases of a bricks-and-mortar capital campaign.

• At least fifteen years fundraising experience with a minimum of five years directing a large comprehensive fundraising programs in a similarly sized and complex institution.

• A proven track record of success and progressive accomplishments in fundraising with experience in all or most areas, such as annual, capital and endowment campaigns, major gifts, planned giving, and institutional giving.

• Demonstrated success as a development executive with the ability to effectively create a fundraising strategic plan and operation.

• Proven success in asking for and closing major gifts and in building and maintaining long-term relationships with major individual donors, foundations, and corporations.

• A team manager who equally understands the realities of building consensus in decision-making and of effecting follow-through.

• Demonstrated success and acumen in managing, mentoring, and motivating staff.

• Ability to work effectively with volunteers, other development professionals, physicians, researchers, and other team leaders.


• Political savvy, integrity, and discretion; mature judgment in managing working relationships with donors, staff, and department leaders.

• Presence and high comfort level in interacting effectively with volunteer leadership and other important constituencies.

• An excellent communicator who speaks and writes with clarity and purpose to internal and external constituencies.

• Outstanding organizational skills, with the ability to complete projects on a timely basis and to manage multiple priorities.

• Undergraduate degree from an accredited four-year college or university.


David Hinsley Cheng, Managing Partner
Marlene Mlawski, Associate

This search began in April 2017 and is currently active. This position description is based upon material provided by Mohawk Valley Health System, an equal opportunity employer.