Our Executives

Jay P. Cahalan
President & Chief Executive Officer










Jay P. Cahalan is President & CEO of Columbia Memorial Health. He joined CMH in 1994 as its Chief Operating Officer and served as Executive Vice President before being named President & CEO in 2012. Jay has been instrumental in transforming CMH from an inpatient focused community hospital to an integrated healthcare delivery system with over 40 distinct medical service outlets and physician practices. In 2016, Jay led the organization to a unique and groundbreaking affiliation with Albany Medical Center, the first of its kind in Northeast New York.

Prior to joining CMH, Jay was a clinical instructor for a three-hospital Radiologic Technology Program in Connecticut, later serving as a Director of Radiology, and as Vice President of Diagnostic Services for Windham Hospital in Willimantic, Conn. Jay holds masters degrees from the University of Connecticut and Champlain College in Burlington, Vermont. He completed his undergraduate degree at Southern Connecticut State University, where he played football under former New York Giants Offensive Coordinator and fellow SCSU alumnus Kevin Gilbride.

Karen Tassey
Chief Operating Officer









Karen Tassey joined the CMH executive team as Chief Operating Officer in 2013 and works with a team of directors and executives to oversee operations at the healthcare network’s Hudson, Catskill and Valatie campuses, as well as several satellite primary care centers.

Karen previously served from 2006 to 2012 as COO at Northeast Health and St. Peter’s Health Partners, a healthcare network that managed several hospitals, primary care offices and specialty care centers in Albany and Troy. She was named COO of that organization after serving six years as Chief Nursing Officer.

Karen earned a Master of Science Degree in Nursing from Russell Sage College and completed a certificate program at the Harvard School of Public Health Program for Advanced Leadership Strategies for Healthcare Executives. She is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives.


Lawrence Perl, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer









Lawrence Perl, M.D. joined the executive team in 2015 as Chief Medical Officer after serving for nearly 35 years as a well-known and highly regarded OB/GYN doctor in Columbia and Greene Counties and as Chief of Obstetrics at CMH for 12 years.

As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Perl oversees the CMH medical staff, case management and CMH social workers.

Dr. Perl earned his Medical degree from The Chicago Medical School and completed a residency at Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center in Chicago.

As an active volunteer, Dr. Perl has served on the boards of the Congregation Anshe Emeth in Hudson and The Catskill Community Center.


Bryan Mahoney
Chief Financial Officer









Bryan Mahoney joined CMH in 2011 as the Controller and was named Chief Financial Officer in 2016.

Bryan came to CMH with 9 years of experience at the accounting firm KPMG. As CFO, Bryan oversees the organization’s revenue cycle, supply chain and information technology needs across several departments.

After earning a degree in accounting from the University of Massachusetts in 2002, Bryan went on to become a certified public accountant and completed a certificate program at The Academy for Healthcare Leadership Advancement at Cornell University in 2015.


Mary Ellen Plass
Chief Nursing Officer & Vice President of Patient  & Clinical Services









Mary Ellen Plass, RN, MS, CENP joined CMH as Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient and Clinical Services in December 2016.

Mary Ellen works with a team of managers and directors to oversee nursing and clinical staff at the Hospital, Emergency Department and Care Centers.

Previously, Mary Ellen served as Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President of Patient Care Services at Albany Medical Center from 2005 to 2014. At Albany Med, Mary Ellen oversaw a nursing staff of about 2,900 employees across the Hospital, surgical and emergency services.


Patricia Finnegan
Vice President of Care Center Administration









Tish Finnegan joined the CMH executive team in 2005 and has nearly 25 years of experience in a variety of roles across the healthcare network.

Today, Tish serves as Vice President of Care Center Administration and oversees the network’s primary, specialty and urgent care centers.

Tish is a graduate of Columbia-Greene Community College and The University at Albany, where she earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and sociology. As an active community volunteer, Tish serves on the leadership boards of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, Greene County Rural Health Network, and The Second Show thrift shop and Hospital fundraising organization.


Ronald Pope, D.O.
Vice President of Medical Services, Care Centers









Ronald Pope, D.O. Vice President of Medical Services, Care Centers has served in an administrative role since 2011 as a member of the executive team at CMH since 2014. Previously he worked at Jefferson Heights Family Care in Catskill, NY as a Family Physician.

Dr. Pope oversees a team of administrative staff, clinical providers and physicians across CMH’s network of primary and specialty care centers. In addition, he serves as Medical Director of Staff Health as well as Director of Medical Education and helped develop a mentor program at CMH for medical students.

He previously served as an Assistant Director of Medical Education at Mid-Hudson Family Practice Residency Program and as President & CEO Ocean State Ambulance. As a graduate of the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, Dr. Pope has worked as both a primary care physician and administrator. He has studied through the American Association of Physician Leadership, and is a Certified Physician Executive through that same organization.



Bryanna Scali
Vice President of Human Resources









Bryanna Scali joined the CMH Human Resources Department in 2009 and was promoted to a managerial role in 2013 before being named Vice President of Human Resources in January 2017.

In her role at CMH, Brya is responsible for organizational development, recruitment and staffing, employment law, performance management, employee relations, and compensation and benefits for the network’s 1,400 staff members.

Brya earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University at Albany in 2006 and a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Alliant International University in San Diego in 2008. Brya is an active member of the Society for Human Resource Management as well as the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology.