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A vision realized: Hal Teitelbaum entrusts his legacy to the future of Healthcare


Hal Teitelbaum, MD, JD, MBA, fondly known as “Dr. T” by many, entered the healthcare field in 1976, right after completing his training in Internal Medicine at New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, and in Medical Oncology and Hematology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. After six years of academic-based practice, Dr. Teitelbaum established a solo practice in Orange County, New York, in 1982. Even then, he felt he could better impact his community by working with patients to improve their whole health rather than focusing on an individual specialty practice.


“I eventually realized that the traditional single-specialty model of care – with internists working alone, cardiologists working alone, neurologists working alone, in separate practices – wasn’t working because it couldn’t provide patients with the quality care and convenience they deserved.” Dr. Teitelbaum explained, “I wanted to bring the highest quality health care to a region where many people did not have ready access to primary and specialty care services.”


So, in 1996 he established Crystal Run Healthcare, a multi-specialty medical practice with the goal of putting physicians, specialists and services under one roof. He wanted it to be easier for doctors and support staff to communicate and work closely together as a team. And, eventually, make it easier for patients to get most of their healthcare needs met in one place. For providers like Greg Spencer, MD, FACP, who was one of the first six providers to join Crystal Run, it meant taking a leap of faith with Dr. Teitelbaum’s multi-specialty practice in an area where individual practices were the norm.


“My friend had completed a fellowship with Dr. Manny Perry, one of Crystal Run’s co-founders, who then introduced me to Dr. T,” said Dr. Spencer, “I spoke with him for several hours one evening about a multi-specialty group they were forming. He was very confident and explained in great detail what was being planned. By the end of that conversation, it was an easy decision for me to come to Crystal Run!”


For Dr. Teitelbaum, who went from solo oncology physician to Founder, Managing Partner, and CEO of Crystal Run Healthcare, it meant going back to school to learn how to best run a multispecialty practice. He graduated from Columbia Business School with Honors in 1998, his MBA in hand to help him, and the talented providers he drew in, to make Crystal Run Healthcare flourish.


Now, 27 years after that crossroads decision, Dr. Teitelbaum’s dedication and drive have resulted in Crystal Run Healthcare being recognized as a market leader in healthcare delivery in Orange and Sullivan Counties and beyond, and have contributed significantly to raising the bar in medical care throughout the region. Under Dr. Teitelbaum’s leadership, Crystal Run was an early adopter of electronic health records and fully embraced the philosophy of value-based medical care. They have earned Patient-Centered Medical Home recognition, AAAHC Accreditation, nationally recognized Urgent Care accreditation, and more. They were the first in the region to adopt digital mammography, build state-of-the-art, multi-certified cardiology labs, radiology, and endoscopy service centers, and even established the first accredited sleep study center in Sullivan County. They were the first private practice in New York State to receive Joint Commission accreditation as well, a distinction that set them apart from other medical practices. Crystal Run Healthcare has also become known for its philanthropic support of many outstanding community organizations, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout the years.



Today, Crystal Run is the leading multispecialty group in the Hudson Valley and is the employer of choice for over 2,400 providers and staff. That includes over 400 physicians and advanced practice clinicians in over 50 medical and surgical specialties on staff throughout a dozen locations in Orange, Sullivan and Rockland counties in New York’s iconic Hudson Valley region. Physicians and staff at Crystal Run consistently achieve professional and community recognition, from being named a Castle Connolly “Top Doc” to being Times Herald-Record community-voted “best of the best”, showing every day how there is indeed something special about the people at Crystal Run.


Dr. Teitelbaum credits much of the practice's success to the hard-working physicians and staff at Crystal Run, “None of Crystal Run’s accomplishments and success would have been possible without each and every one of our dedicated physicians, nurses and support staff. Their passion, expertise and skill have been the driving force behind our success. Together, we have built a culture based on the most important tenet of medical professionalism: “the primacy of patient welfare,” the concept of altruism applied to medical practice — patient above self.”


In the realm of personal professional growth, Dr. Teitelbaum went back to school one more time, earning his Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School in 2012, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. Dr. Teitelbaum has also been recognized by the community he has served for the past 46 years through awards like: the 2016 Ruth & James Ottaway Medal by the Orange County Citizens Foundation for his continued dedication and significant contributions to Orange County; the Barbara Alvarez Humanitarian Award presented by The Police Community Council of the Town of Wallkill for his contributions to enhancing the quality of life in the Town of Wallkill; and the David T. Cocks Award for Commitment to Community by The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan for his leadership and community service in enriching the lives of others.


“When I first thought about establishing Crystal Run, I envisioned a medical practice that would transform care in our region, prioritizing unparalleled service, innovation, integrity and a steadfast commitment to medical excellence,” said Dr. Teitelbaum, “While there remains much to be done — after all, this is a journey — I am proud to say that, together, we have already surpassed my boldest aspirations. Crystal Run has become synonymous with high-quality, ethical and compassionate health care in our area and beyond.”


In early 2023 after a thorough evaluation of a number of potential partners to join together with to take the Practice to the next level of patient care, Dr. Teitelbaum and the 133 physician owners of Crystal Run Healthcare decided to join Optum.


“We knew that Optum was the right partner as a leading information and technology-enabled health services enterprise dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. Optum’s strategy and vision, consistent with Crystal Run’s efforts over the last decade, is to build an integrated network of providers to focus on local, value-based care. Partnering with Optum allows Crystal Run to continue providing patients with the high-quality and compassionate care they have come to expect from us while also leveraging the vast resources of Optum to strengthen the great care we deliver every day. It will allow us to further invest in patient care quality, access and experience, invest in providers and staff to ensure they have the best possible work experience with room for growth and advancement, and to ensure our long-term stability, ” said Dr. Teitelbaum.


After more than 27 years of leading and nurturing Crystal Run Healthcare, and more than 41 years practicing medicine in our community, Dr. Teitelbaum made the decision to retire, entrusting his legacy and the future of Crystal Run Healthcare to the extraordinary senior leadership team at Crystal Run together with Optum. With a near-identical dedication to patient care, medical excellence, and fair-cost treatments, Dr. Teitelbaum is confident he is leaving his legacy in good hands. Dr. Teitelbaum’s vision, impact, leadership, motivation, and commitment to making Crystal Run Healthcare someplace special for patients, providers, and employees alike has changed healthcare in our region. His legacy will continue on for years to come.


In a heartfelt email to the dedicated team at Crystal Run, he wrote, “While I am retiring, please know that my belief in Crystal Run’s mission and incredible potential remains and has in fact been bolstered by becoming part of the Optum family.  As the next chapter begins, I have full confidence in the leadership team and the combined strength of Crystal Run and Optum.


I encourage you to embrace the future with optimism, resilience, and an enduring commitment to the values that have defined Crystal Run. Together, you will continue to transform lives, provide exceptional care, and shape the future of health care in our communities.”


Dr. Teitelbaum retires to spend time traveling with his wife, Jennifer, with whom he resides in Bethel, New York. He is an avid cyclist and enjoys kayaking and photography, among other pursuits.