Hospital still looking for another board member
The Quincy Valley Medical Center’s governing board must appoint someone to an open seat by early next year or Grant County commissioners will make the appointment themselves.
The position, which was up for election earlier this month, drew no interested candidates.
After Jan. 1, if someone is not appointed to the open seat within 90 days, county commissioners can appoint someone to the position, said Randy Zolman, chairman of the hospital board.
Darrell Van Dyke currently holds the position on the five-member board; however, Van Dyke has not attended a meeting in at least two years. The term ends at the end of December. Commissioners serve six-year terms.
Van Dyke has not resigned from his position and the board’s bylaws don’t allow commissioners to appoint someone in Van Dyke’s place, Zolman said.
“We have no avenue of recourse if he doesn’t show,” Zolman said. He added that the board plans to amend its bylaws to provide such an avenue in the future.
The lack of a full and present board has not hindered the hospital because everyone currently on the board has been on it for more than a decade, Zolman said. Also on the board are Anthony Gonzalez, Don Condit and Bob Poindexter.
“We have a pretty solid board and we all voice our opinions and get things on the same page and move forward,” Zolman said.
Board members also have kept Van Dyke “in the loop,” Zolman said.
“We’re discussing different things with him outside the boardroom,” he said.
To make up for the missing commissioner and avoid a split vote, the board has elected to not have the chairman vote, Zolman said.
On Monday, Zolman had no candidates interested in the position. He is hopeful the new commissioner will come from the farming community. Commissioners serve about three hours a month, he said.
This week, the hospital was making headway on finding an interim CEO to replace Mehdi Merred, who resigned earlier this month. Merred’s last day is Dec. 11. The board has been interviewing candidates for the interim CEO position.
The hospital also has received at least five applications from prospective CEO candidates, Zolman said at a meeting of Quincy leaders on Monday. The application process is open through Jan. 22.
When filling the position permanently, the board plans to narrow the applicants down to about three and then will invite the public to meet the finalists because it’s important that the hospital have the community’s support, Zolman said.
“And right now we don’t have that,” he told the leadership group.
At the meeting of local leaders, Brian Kuest of the Port of Quincy also updated those in attendance about efforts to invite Confluence Health to the community to talk about what the Wenatchee-based medical provider can do for Quincy.
Several local leaders, including those representing the hospital, extended the invitation earlier this month. The written invitation has been accepted by Confluence Health, Kuest said.
He now is trying to set up a meeting between Confluence Health officials and community leaders for early to mid-December, he said.
Jeff Davis, vice president of business development and special projects for Confluence Health, told the Post-Register in September that the medical provider has an interest in serving Quincy; however, no conversations have taken place about what Confluence’s presence may look like.
— By Jill FitzSimmons, email@example.com