Cornerstone CEO retires

By Alberto Gilman
Posted 1/4/23

Linda Muller, President and Chief Executive Officer [CEO] of Cornerstone Family Healthcare concluded 31 years of service and leadership of the local healthcare provider at the end of 2022. She will …

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Cornerstone CEO retires


Linda Muller, President and Chief Executive Officer [CEO] of Cornerstone Family Healthcare concluded 31 years of service and leadership of the local healthcare provider at the end of 2022. She will be succeeded by Dave Jolly, who is set to begin on January 8, 2023.

“It’s the bittersweet moments that you know, I will miss, I’ll miss my colleagues, and I’ll miss my staff. And I’ll miss the patients and I’ll miss, I’ll miss it. It’s been part of my life,” said Muller prior to the holiday weekend.

The ‘it’ as Muller referred to is the institution, the organization, the mission that is Cornerstone that she said she is most proud of personally.

Born and raised in the Hudson Valley, Muller is a graduate of Washingtonville High School from the class of 1971 and married her high school sweetheart, Charles Muller, Washingtonville class of 1968.

Linda and Charles have been married for the past 51 years and have three adult children, two sons and a daughter, with six grandchildren who currently attend Cornwall and Washingtonville schools.

Muller attended Orange County Community College for a year and then went on with her husband to attend the University at Buffalo where she received her bachelor of arts degree in speech pathology with a minor in audiology and communication in 1976. In 1978, she returned to the Hudson Valley with her two sons and husband. Muller also worked as a trainer, did marketing work and also worked in the communications field for other companies. Muller also obtained a masters degree in health policy and administration from the New School University, where she also taught in the same program for six years after graduating from the program.

Prior to her current position, Muller shared she worked for the American Red Cross of Greater New York when she received a phone call from Marcel Martin, then President and CEO of St. Luke’s Hospital. Martino had called Muller to see if she would be interested in an open position at what was known back then as the Family Health Center of Orange and Ulster Counties. Muller admitted that she did not have a background in healthcare but she decided to submit her resume and take the leap. “I was very young, had a young family, put my resume in, didn’t get it on the first go round. I wasn’t chosen because I didn’t have a healthcare background,” said Muller. “And then I got a call back for whatever reason they decided to and I was offered the position. And I said yes. And started on July 1 1991.”

According to Muller when she first started at Cornerstone, there was one site and it served less than 5,000 patients. Today, Cornerstone has 25 sites in eight counties with over 52,000 patients in their service. The company began with $1.2 million and now it’s an over $75 million company. The largest site that Cornerstone has is located at 147 Lake Street in the City of Newburgh, which serves as the organization’s flagship. Though their service numbers have changed since Muller started, Cornerstone remains committed to their mission and belief of equal healthcare and service.

“What’s never changed, never changed is our belief that health care is a right not a privilege. We’ve never changed in our belief that all people should be treated with respect and dignity, we have never changed in our belief that all people, regardless of whatever it is, their circumstance is that they should be treated the same way that anyone who has an insurance card should be treated,” said Muller. “And that if we do that, not only do we make an impact on that person, in that family’s life, we reduce the cost of care, because being able to provide preventative care that a patient is engaged in is a whole lot better than treating an illness, that becomes a lot more expensive.”

In her 31 years at Cornerstone, Muller shared that the COVID pandemic that began in 2020 and continues on was an unexpected challenge that was difficult for everyone in its early days. “That date will live in my, I mean, it is, it is branded in my mind, March 11 2020,” said Muller. “We didn’t know how serious it was, we didn’t know how devastating it could be for folks at risk, not only at risk for their own individual health, but folks who were marginally insured, living in poverty, having multiple members of their family in one household more than three, sometimes as many as 20.”

Despite all the challenges that healthcare workers and administrators faced, healthcare workers continued to show up to work and help people such as Cornerstone’s staff that Muller highlighted.

“They showed up though, I just need you to know that they showed up. People on the frontline, my nursing staff in, in full gear that they needed to have outside in the wind and the rain and the snow in a tent, making sure that we could get COVID test for people,” said Muller. “It’s service above self.”

In the coming days, Muller shared that the company is completing a renovation of a site at the cost of $6.5 million in Port Jervis and a $7.5 million renovation project in Middletown. In addition, Muller shared she will also be making her way to all the various Cornerstone sites and her colleagues will be working with state elected officials and legislators as the preparations for the state budget adoption draw closer into the new year.

Though her time at Cornerstone draws ever closer to a close, Muller said she looks forward to retirement with her husband and travel and hoped that she has left behind a long lasting legacy that others may reflect upon. “For me personally, I would hope that I would be remembered as a good and loyal servant, to the mission, to the people that I have become part of my family, my staff, and to the patients who we are so proud to serve. This has been a passion. It’s not a job. It’s a way of life. I believe in my soul, that healthcare should be a right not a privilege. I believe in my very being that every patient is unique, and is deserving of our utmost care and respect,” said Muller. “If we could do this here, if we truly could do this here, imagine what we could do if we could take that basic philosophy and move it out into our communities, those things about respect and dignity about human life, and about how important each person is in their own uniqueness. And this place has taught me so much, so much about the gifts that we have, and our responsibility to give back.”

Muller also shared this message for the greater community as she concludes her time at Cornerstone.

“My message would be to those members of the community who are already our patients. Thank you for your trust in us. And thank you for your partnership and your health care.”


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