Herbert Pardes, Who Steered the Growth of a Giant Hospital, Dies at 89

Dr. Herbert Pardes, a psychiatrist and a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health who brought order to the merger of two major medical centers that became New York-Presbyterian Hospital and ran it for 11 years, died on April 30 at his home in Manhattan. He was 89.

His son Steve said the cause was aortic stenosis.

Dr. Pardes (pronounced par-diss) was named president and chief executive of the hospital in late 1999, nearly two years after the merger of New York Hospital and Presbyterian Hospital. The previous decade, he had been the dean of the faculty of medicine at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Presbyterian’s affiliated medical school.

“It was no secret that as dean of the medical school I didn’t always agree with the hospital administration,” he said in his thick Bronx accent on CUNY TV in 2011. “I thought maybe I could create a better collaboration by going over to run the hospital.”

Dr. Pardes at the entrance of NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center in 2007. He had moved from being dean of a medical faculty to leading a giant medical center and its affiliates.Credit…Nicole Bengiveno/The New York Times

The merger created one of the largest health care institutions in the country, with 2,369 hospital beds, 13,000 employees and $1.6 billion in annual revenue. With 167 facilities, it spread from Manhattan to Rockland and Orange Counties in New York. Its hospitals include the Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan.

“It was an amazingly accomplished merger considering the different cultures of the two institutions,” Kenneth E. Raske, president of the Greater New York Hospital Association, a trade group, said in an interview. “He was the bridge that allowed the smooth and wrinkle-free transition of that institution.”

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