Connie R. Vari, MBA '04, M.S. '97 and B.S. '94, of Williamsville, Distinguished Alumni Award

By Barbara A. Byers

Release Date: March 3, 2009

Related Multimedia

Connie Vari

Connie Vari, a native Buffalonian, began her career in 1976 as a staff nurse at Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital. Her more than 30-year career of distinguished service with the Western New York health care-system Kaleida Health is highlighted by a personal dedication to expanding organizational efficiency and empowering others to succeed.

She received her R.N. in 1976 from E.J. Meyer School of Nursing, and her B.S., M.S. and M.B.A. degrees from UB. Named executive vice president and chief operating officer of Kaleida in 2007, Vari oversees more than 10,000 employees and 2,000 physicians, and manages combined annual revenues of $1.2 billion. Her executive leadership experience in hospital operations, clinical management, quality and project management enables her to oversee the comprehensive strategic and operating performance of the system, as well as developing its provider network.

Prior to becoming chief operating officer, Vari served as the chief administrative officer and chief learning officer for Kaleida Health and as president of Millard Fillmore Gates Hospital. She has also served as a research interviewer for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, is a member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Vari served on the search committee for the dean of the UB School of Nursing and is involved in a number of community organizations. She mentors young women in Western New York and serves on many community boards, including the United Way and Buffalo State College Board of Directors. She received the YWCA's Executive Leaders Award in 2004 and the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Nursing in 2007. In 2008 Vari was nominated for the Athena Award, which honors local individuals who have attained and personified the highest level of professional excellence, demonstrated support for the goals of women professionals and who provided significant selfless assistance on their behalf.