TOP 20 UNDER 40: James Cooney

TOP 20 UNDER 40: James Cooney

REPOSTED FROM Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal. 

BY JENNIFER BUTLER / PUBLISHED: DECEMBER 11, 2019

James Cooney works hard and looks ahead. He sets a goal, and when he achieves it, he sets another that is even more challenging. “I believe in identifying opportunities and acting on them when timing is right and trying each day to learn something new about my business,” Cooney said. “I want to be a better administrator than I was the day prior.”

As vice president at Allied Services Integrated Health System’s skilled nursing facility, Cooney is responsible for all operations including the clinical, financial and regulatory aspects of the facility. He is the lead administrator at Allied Services Skilled Nursing Center in Scranton, a 369-bed nursing facility, the largest of its kind in the area.

In addition to traditional skilled nursing and rehabilitation services, the facility offers a ventilator unit, which is unique to the area. Patients seeking ventilator services would have to travel either to Allentown or Philadelphia if it were not for the care provided at Allied.

In addition to Cooney’s responsibilities at the facility, he oversees four other facility administrators at two skilled nursing facilities and two personal care homes in Wilkes-Barre, all under the Allied Services umbrella.

A graduate of Scranton Preparatory School and The University of Scranton, Cooney earned his bachelor’s degree in media and information technology. During high school and college, he worked in the kitchen of a nursing home, washing dishes in the evening hours for spending money. He realized he did not want to leave the nursing home business, but instead, learn more about it. He accepted a management position there, and through the next few years, he returned to school to earn his license to function as a nursing home administrator.

He worked in various departments, roles and facilities gaining the experience required to operate successful facilities providing quality care to residents. An opportunity to open a new, short-term skilled nursing unit, now named Allied Services Transitional Rehab Unit, was presented to him at a great time, and he jumped on it.

“I haven’t looked back,” he said. “It’s been a great ride.”

He said his superiors at Allied Services, specifically the president and CEO, Attorney William Conaboy, and the CFO, Michael Avvisato, are his professional mentors. They provide him with sound advice while showing patience and trust in him as he strives to continue the company’s mission of delivering compassionate care.

“Their unwavering support is not only a testament to their strong character, but it is also paramount to the success I have had at Allied Services,” Cooney said.

He attributes his success to the careful and compassionate upbringing by his parents.

“My parents instilled a strong work ethic in my siblings and in me, and have supported me throughout my life,” he said. “I would not be where I am today without them.”

His education also gave him a strong foundation as a spring-board into a career that he loves.