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Maria College Recruits St. Peter’s Health Partners Retiring Chief Medical Officer

Press ReleaseHealth Sciences

ALBANY, NY—Maria College has named Dr. Robert J. Cella Jr. director of its bachelor’s degree program in healthcare management. Dr. Cella is retiring from his position as chief medical officer, Acute Care–Albany, and vice president, St. Peter’s Health Partners, on September 30. 

Maria’s healthcare management program began in the spring of 2015. Under Dr. Cella’s leadership, the program will bridge the needs of the region’s healthcare employers with students interested in pursuing a successful healthcare career in an industry that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects double digit growth in the next decade. 

Dr. Thomas Gamble, Maria College president stated, “It is apparent that the healthcare arena is changing rapidly and it is essential that institutions respond quickly and effectively to stay abreast of these changes. The addition of Dr. Cella to Maria’s team will assure that Maria is well-positioned to meet the needs of its students and the capital region.”

Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. John Kowal stated, “We are thrilled that Dr. Cella will lead our bachelor’s degree program in healthcare management.  His degrees in both dental and medical medicine with extensive experience will be a tremendous resource to students who wish to either enter or expand their careers in the healthcare field. Maria’s four year program in healthcare management was designed to prepare graduates for entry into mid-level management positions in a variety of healthcare settings from corporate health and wellness departments and pharmaceutical manufacturers to nursing homes, hospitals, assisting living and rehabilitation centers. ”

As a C-level executive at Albany’s largest hospital system since 2008, Dr. Cella understands intimately the need for educators to fill the region’s healthcare workforce pipeline with competent and skilled employees. He described the shortage of qualified healthcare employees in the capital region and his vision for leading an education program at Maria that will serve as an economic healthcare engine for the region; educating students and linking this talent to employers that serve the community’s healthcare needs. 

Dr. Cella stated, “I am very excited to be starting the next chapter in my life at Maria College to leverage Maria’s excellent reputation in the health sciences to facilitate the creation of a learning corridor in the region.  The key to our success will be in channeling the interests of students without technical health skills into occupations that desperately need knowledgeable, trained, and compassionate workers. The Sisters of Mercy founded both St. Peter’s Hospital and Maria College.  This legacy in healthcare excellence and serving others will help to foster successful outcomes and enable graduates to enter careers in the rapidly changing healthcare field.” 


About Maria College
Founded in 1958, Maria College is one of 16 colleges and universities in the United States sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas. The private, co-educational, Catholic college in Albany serves almost 1,000 students in a variety of degree and certificate programs that make a difference in the lives of others by combining strong academic study with caring service. Maria College has a reputation for excellence in the health sciences, including nursing and occupational therapy, liberal arts and management.

Maria’s healthcare management major consists of 120 credits integrating liberal arts with science in the curriculum. Concepts in accounting, organization and management, economics, leadership, organizational behavior, ethics, sociology, finance, and law were included; all focused on the unique needs of healthcare organizations.

For Immediate Release