Dr. Karl Adler, M.D., announced his retirement as the cardinal’s delegate for health care, a position he has held since his appointment by Cardinal Edward Egan in 2001.
Dr. Adler’s work with the archdiocese as a doctor, educator and administrator dates back to the 1980s, when he began working at New York Medical College in Valhalla.
“It’s just time,” Dr. Adler, 79, told CNY. “Joan and I were married three weeks before I started medical school in 1962. She lived with me through medical school, residency and we’ve had a great life. She and I will be free to do things we would have loved to do.
“We’d like to do a little more traveling. We would love to go to the Holy Land…We would like to spend a little more time with our four grandchildren and enjoy life.”
Dr. Adler held his position during a time of health care transition for the archdiocese. He was a member of the board of trustees with ArchCare, the continuing care community of the archdiocese, and was an original board member for Fidelis Care New York. He was on Fidelis Care’s board of directors when it was sold to Centene Corp. in 2017. Funds from the sale were used to establish the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation to help New Yorkers in need.
“We were getting out of the acute hospital business in the early 2000s, because we recognized the greatest needs were with the disabled and elderly,” Dr. Adler said.
Scott LaRue, president and CEO of ArchCare, said Dr. Adler will be honored at ArchCare’s gala Oct. 24.
“We owe the sheer diversity, reach and quality of Catholic health care services we have today in the Archdiocese of New York to Dr. Adler’s vision and guidance,” LaRue said.
“As the archbishop’s delegate for health care and as a member and for many years the chairman of ArchCare’s board of trustees, he has blessed us with the foresight and strategic acuity to anticipate and adapt to the evolution of health care and the health and social needs of communities throughout the archdiocese. And he did so with the wisdom of an educator, and, above all, the sensitivity and compassion of the dedicated physician that he is.”
Dr. Adler, who started at New York Medical College as a professor of medicine in 1981, later served there as chief executive officer, 2011-2012; president and chief executive officer, 2007-2011; dean and vice president for medical affairs, 1990-1994; dean, 1987-1990; and acting dean, 1986-1987.
He was president and chief executive officer of St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in Manhattan, 1994-2000.
Dr. Adler also served on the board of trustees for Calvary Hospital, the Bronx; Our Lady of Mercy Hospital, the Bronx; St. Francis Hospital, Poughkeepsie; Benedictine Hospital, Kingston; and St. Agnes Hospital, White Plains; St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center of New York; and Cabrini Medical Center, Manhattan.
He was chairman of the Catholic Health Care Council of the New York State Catholic Conference, 1998-2000.
“I enjoyed it,” said Dr. Adler, a graduate of Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J., and Georgetown Medical School in Washington, D.C.
“I’m going to miss it all. I did enjoy taking care of patients, having an impact on rehabilitative health care and enjoyed the close relationship with the Church. They all were important to me.”