I think we have made our decision,” said Eastern Plumas Heath Care board member Gail McGrath at the board of directors’ special meeting Jan. 3.
With a motion from director Janie McBride and a second from Lucie Kreth, Dr. Paul Swanson was voted in as the newest board director.
With the death of board member Larry Fites in November, one board seat was vacant. The board asked for letters of interest and the candidates were to be interviewed at the special meeting last Friday.
There were four applicants vying for the position, much to the appreciation of the board. McGrath commented on the remarkable qualifications of all the candidates: Nic Beddoe, James Murphy, Kent Stacy and Dr. Paul Swanson.
“This is a very difficult decision because of the kinds of high qualifications that have arisen,” McGrath said.
Each candidate had an opportunity to address the board and answer questions. However, Beddoe’s wife works as a nurse at the hospital and he was deemed ineligible for consideration due to a potential conflict of interest.
Murphy was the first to address the board, saying he wanted to be a part of it because he respects the board and the decisions it has been making for the community.
Next to speak was Swanson, who said he would be able to bring a very sound mind to the board. He said he is very familiar with the hospital’s current issues, as he is the director of emergency hospital services at the hospital and has been an employee there for 11 years.
“I feel very close to EPHC and all of those who work here,” he wrote in his letter of interest. “I am well known and well liked by the community. I would bring a close knowledge of the clinical day-to-day workings of the hospital.”
Kent Stacy said that his extensive experience in technology would be an asset to the board. He said he likes to work and would like to contribute to the hospital, as the facility has helped him a lot.
The candidates left the room to go on a tour of the hospital so the board could discuss the applicants. There was a short discussion and the board members all agreed that having a physician as a director would be beneficial and would bring a different perspective to decision-making.
When the candidates came back, the vote was made and Swanson was sworn in.
“I want to thank the board for their support and trust,” Swanson said. “I’ve been with hospital a really long time. I really support the hospital and I want to continue helping the community.”
However, McBride said she did not want the other applicants to “get away.” After the meeting, each individual was approached by a board member about being on a committee or acting as a consultant for the hospital.
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