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Mark G. Ackermann Is Named New President and CEO of Lighthouse International

Will lead premier non-profit organization preventing and treating vision loss

NEW YORK, Sept. 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- MARK G. ACKERMANN has been chosen as the new President and CEO of Lighthouse International, the 104-year-old non-profit leader in vision healthcare, research, and services for the visually impaired. Ackermann, who has considerable expertise in healthcare management, will start in his new role on September 14, 2009.

According to Roger O. Goldman, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Lighthouse International, "Mark Ackermann is highly qualified to lead Lighthouse International in our second century of service to people who are blind, visually impaired or at risk of vision loss. Mark was chosen after a careful, nationwide search, and we are confident that he will bring the energy and expertise we need to help us prevent vision loss among the 61 million Americans who are at risk and the millions more worldwide."

Mr. Ackermann served in various senior management positions at St. Vincent's Hospital and Medical Center beginning in 1983, and held the position of Chief Administrative Officer of the hospital's successor corporation, St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers of New York (SVCMC) until June 2007. He was also President of the SVCMC Foundation and successfully undertook a $100 million capital fundraising campaign, which included funding for the proposed new Rudolph W. Giuliani Trauma Center at St. Vincent's Manhattan. Among his many achievements, Ackermann and the management team of St. Vincent's expanded the ophthalmology department and created a strong working relationship with the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. His executive management skills were honed as Interim President and CEO of St. Clare's Hospital and Health Center during the mid-nineties. Other responsibilities over the years included external affairs, clinical services, medical education and advocacy among others.

In 2007 and 2008, Mr. Ackermann served as the Special Assistant to Edward Cardinal Egan and Executive Director of the Office of the Papal Visit for the Archdiocese of New York. In this capacity he was responsible for all aspects of the visit to New York by Pope Benedict XVI in April 2008. Mr. Ackermann coordinated the planning and execution of eight major events in and around the City of New York during the Pope's visit, including coordination with all federal, state, and city agencies involved in the visit and the various offices of the Vatican and the Archdiocese of New York. More recently, he has been a management and fundraising consultant to several New York area hospitals and non-profit organizations.

Ackermann received a B.A. in Journalism and Communications from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and an M.S. in Healthcare Management from New York University.

Mr. Ackermann commented, "I am honored to join Lighthouse International as its new President and CEO. I am extremely grateful to the Board of Directors for the confidence that they have in me. The history and accomplishments of the Lighthouse are extraordinary. It will be a privilege to work in the years ahead with the outstanding team of clinicians, researchers, and staff to consistently improve services, clinical outcomes, and research findings for the growing number of individuals with vision loss."

Since May 2009, Board member Ted Francavilla has served as Acting President and CEO. Under his stewardship the organization has maintained its sound financial position and implemented enhanced management practices, while continuing to enhance the lives of its clients. Ted will work with Mark to ensure a smooth transition.

Founded in 1905, Lighthouse International is a leading non-profit organization dedicated to fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment. It achieves this through clinical and rehabilitation services, education, research and advocacy. For more information about vision loss and its causes, contact Lighthouse International at 1-800-829-0500 or visit

    CONTACT: Leslie Gottlieb
    (212) 821-0960

SOURCE Lighthouse International
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