December 14, 2017

Faith Shapes Leadership Role of Kyle Snyder, Chief Administrative Officer for Geisinger Holy Spirit

Kyle Snyder is appreciative of the opportunities afforded him as chief administrative officer (CAO) for Geisinger Holy Spirit. He is pleased to partner with a team of dedicated peers and devoted physicians, nurses and staff who care for the needs of others with compassion and competence.

“Geisinger Holy Spirit is a Catholic institution, but it is important people understand that it is a ‘community’ Catholic health system,” says Snyder. “Every person who enters our doors seeking healthcare, regardless of their faith denomination, is welcome. The notion of acceptance is inherent in our Catholic faith because we value the sacredness of life and the dignity of each person.”

Kyle Snyder joined Holy Spirit in 2014 when it entered an affiliation agreement with Geisinger. Originally serving as vice president of operations and integration, he accepted the position of CAO following the retirement of Sister Romaine Niemeyer, SCC, who had served as the health system CEO for 26 years.

Following in Sister Romaine’s footsteps has a unique set of challenges, Snyder admits.

Kyle Snyder, chief administrative officer for Geisinger Holy Spirit.
Kyle Snyder, chief administrative officer for Geisinger Holy Spirit.

“Sister Romaine could lead with her presence very effectively. She was a fantastic business person, but her presence at times was leadership enough,” he says. “It requires much more from a lay person to lead an organization like this. That is why I believe my partnership with Sister Mary Joseph Albright, SCC, our mission integration officer, is so important. Her presence reminds people that we are still a Catholic institution and that influences the decisions we are making and the way we treat people.”

A lifelong Catholic, Snyder grew up in Shamokin, the oldest of three children in a family that was very active in their church. “We walked to church; went to all the holy days of obligation and never missed Mass,” he remembers.

He also served as a church organist, first in his home parish and then while in college and early in his career. “It was a very rewarding and enjoyable role and I met some wonderful people in the parishes that I served,” says Snyder, who studied piano and organ for about 15 years.

When he is not at work, Snyder leads a busy family life with his wife Beth and three children, Benjamin, Aiden and Marin. Active members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish, they are strong supporters of Catholic education and St. Joseph School, Mechanicsburg, where their children attend.

“Catholic school is very important to us,” says Snyder, who graduated with his wife from Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School in Coal Township. “My wife and I are grateful for the solid academic foundation and character formation that we received both in grade school and high school.”

These essential building blocks continue to serve us well as we raise our family and contribute to the community as professionals.

After high school, Snyder enrolled in Providence College, Providence, Rhode Island, to pursue a career in healthcare. “My mom is a pediatric oncology nurse at Geisinger in Danville, so I grew up around healthcare and I knew that I shared her passion for taking care of people,” he explains.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in health policy and management/business administration, Snyder entered graduate school at Cornell University. Required to complete an internship as part of his studies toward a master’s degree in health administration, he turned to Geisinger, the organization that employed both of his parents for more than 30 years. After successfully completing his internship at Geisinger and earning his master’s degree, he served at The Cleveland Clinic as an administrative fellow and then as an administrator for the Division of Nursing. This was followed by two years as administrative director of the Emergency Service Line at Wellspan York Hospital, before Geisinger recruited him back.

“Both The Cleveland Clinic and Geisinger are physician-led organizations. I always felt that was a good model for healthcare,” he says. “I was drawn back to Geisinger because of its approach to coordination of care.”

Snyder spent the next eight years working in positions of increasing responsibility and gaining extensive experience that would serve him well when Geisinger announced it was looking to affiliate with Holy Spirit Health System. Snyder said, “I wanted to be part of the on-the-ground team for due diligence exercises with our new partner. Being raised Catholic, I understood that component, and I had worked in this market before.” Snyder was asked to do just that and happily agreed.

Not sure where the move to Camp Hill would lead him, Snyder approached the opportunity with an open mind.

“As I spent more time here, I felt a real connection with the people and the Sisters,” he says. “Even with my background and upbringing, I never had the chance to consider working in a Catholic institution until this opportunity came along.”

Now, little more than a year since he was named Geisinger Holy Spirit’s first lay leader, Snyder is quick to point to his faith as a driving factor in how he tackles the job.

“I think my faith has shaped me a lot as a leader. I approach people, relationships and opportunities by always thinking about two things: one is service to the community, and the other is treating people the way I want to be treated or the way I want the people I care about to be treated. The intersection is a natural one.”

By Gesinger Holy Spirit Staff

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