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Longtime UHS leader Bill Rincker excelled at bridge-building

June 09, 2017

A leading banker, civic leader and former chairman of the Board of Directors of UHS passed away June 3. William H. “Bill” Rincker, of Naples, Fla., was 86.

One of Greater Binghamton's most notable banking professionals, he had served for several years as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of BSB Bancorp, the holding company of the Binghamton Savings Bank. He also had been president of the Broome County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the boards of several foundations and charitable organizations.

He was a significant, driving force in the incorporation and consolidation of the UHS healthcare system in the early 1980s.

Matthew J. Salanger, FACHE, president and chief executive officer of UHS, said: "Bill Rincker was a key leader of UHS in its formative years, and will be sorely missed within UHS and throughout the Greater Binghamton community. His vision and support helped UHS become the comprehensive system it is today."

Mr. Rincker's association with the institutions that became UHS began in 1972, when he was elected to the Wilson Memorial Hospital board. In that role he helped pave the way for the consolidation of three area hospitals, saving the community tens of millions of dollars in the long run. As a UHS board member, and later as chairman, he led the System through several years of reconfiguration, a facilities renovation project, the start-up of the open heart surgery program and key steps in System integration.

In 1997, the nationally circulated magazine Modern Healthcare named Mr. Rincker "Trustee of the Year," a distinction he shared with J. Patrick McGillis of Powell County Memorial Hospital in Montana.

The magazine's headline noted that Mr. Rincker "excels at bridge-building," with an accompanying feature article praising his efforts in bringing together hospital, physician and community constituencies to form a workable healthcare system.

Thanks in large measure to Mr. Rincker's leadership, "the vibrant UHS was created from a disparate cluster of hospitals, two of which teetered on the edge of financial ruin," the article said. "The plain-speaking, even-tempered Rincker played concilliator during a torrid period of change in south-central New York" healthcare.

Francis J. Gilroy, MD, then-chairman of the UHS Hospitals board, in a letter of nomination to the magazine, noted: "It was Mr. Rincker's leadership that enabled UHS to face tough, often-unpopular decisions" culminating in the incorporation of UHS in 1981. "By making the right decisions then, we're a much more secure system today."

A Michigan native, Mr. Rincker moved to Binghamton in 1949 and joined the Binghamton Savings Bank in 1955. He earned a bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton and attended the Graduate School of Banking at Brown University in Rhode Island.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, June 10, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Barber Memorial Home, 428 Main St., Johnson City.


(Bill and Audree Rincker)