Behind the new hospitalJamestown Regional Medical Center is not only managed by its administrators and staff, but also the individuals on its 10-member board. It has the final say on decisions like whether to build a new hospital and where.
Jamestown Regional Medical Center is not only managed by its administrators and staff, but also the individuals on its 10-member board. It has the final say on decisions like whether to build a new hospital and where.
Considerations for the new facility began in 2001.
“It was very early in Marty’s (Richman, Jamestown Regional Medical Center CEO) tenure that we began assessing the future of Jamestown Hospital,” board Chairman Harvey Huber said.
The JRMC Board of Directors consists of various community and business leaders as well as medical professionals. They are experts in a variety of backgrounds and represent a diversified mix of age, gender and rural or urban residents.
The self-appointing board members serve three-year terms and meet regularly regarding hospital business. For nearly 10 years, the board has considered how to move forward with the new hospital.
The board had considered updating the current facility as well as other locations for a new medical center within Jamestown. It also considered switching from its current independently-run facility and instead, merging with the former MeritCare, now known as Sanford Health, Huber said. The board decided not to merge with another organization because independently-owned hospitals have more local control and can offer what is best for the region, said Connie Krapp, vice chairwoman.
“Independence might result in better health care for the community,” she said.
It’s not always easy for medical facilities to remain independent. Many medical facilities in the region and nationally are merging into health-care conglomerates with branches in various cities and states. But in Jamestown, technology allows professionals to tap outside resources that might not otherwise be available to an independent facility.
And although the board chose to remain independent, it’s open to merging if that is what’s best for the patient, Krapp said.
“We feel at this time, it’s not really where Jamestown wants to go,” she said.
For all decisions, relating to the new hospital or otherwise, the board considers other trends in the industry.
But Huber said the decisions of the board were based on one reason.
“We are motivated by what is best for the patient,” Huber said.
That philosophy is echoed in other medical centers like the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., he said.
Richman retires this year after a decade with Jamestown Hospital. When he joined the staff, his mission was to update the current hospital.
“It was the thinking and will of the board, the employees and the medical staff,” Richman said.
But after an architect studied the building and explained it would cost more to remodel than to build anew in addition to other complications, the board chose to go with the green space in southwest Jamestown.
Richman had planned to retire a year ago, but remained with the hospital to see the project through.
Richman’s replacement is Todd Hudspeth, formerly the CEO of Buena Vista Regional Center in Storm Lake, Iowa. Hudspeth spent eight years with Buena Vista. Prior to his tenure there, Hudspeth was CEO at Guthrie County Hospital from 1998 to 2003. From 1997 to 1998, he served as the director of the Storz Cancer Institute at Clarkson Hospital in Omaha, Neb., and was the manager of Radiation Oncology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, from 1995 to 1997.
“It makes me feel good that someone of that caliber is going to be the CEO,” Richman said.
Once he retires, Richman said he and his wife, Cindie, intend to remain in Jamestown for the near future and then possibly move elsewhere in the Midwest to live nearer to grandchildren.
“We like it here,” Richman said of Jamestown. “We like the people and we know there’s a good hospital.”
Sun reporter Katie Ryan-Anderson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by e-mail at kryan-anderson@ jamestownsun.com