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May 24, 2011 7:26 am

EDITORIAL: Future looking bright for hospital

Written by Tessa Schweigert

Following a year of turnover and transition, it appears as though things are looking up for Powell Valley Healthcare. It’s been a year of ups and downs as the organization has undergone a number of major changes in leadership.

Former chief executive officer Rod Barton left the position in August, and in the months that followed, the organization saw an interim and a new CEO, a new chief financial officer, five newly-elected members of the seven-member Powell Hospital District Board of Trustees as well as several changes on the physicians’ staff.

And if that’s not enough for transitions, it’s also worth mentioning that after being hired as the new CEO last fall, Paul Cardwell told the hospital he was not coming in November, but then re-interviewed for the position and was hired — again — in February. Cardwell hit the ground running this spring, and we’re encouraged by the progress he’s making in his first few months as CEO of Powell Valley Healthcare.

When it comes to recruiting efforts, it’s full speed ahead for Cardwell. Two new doctors will soon come to Powell — Dr. Cory Pickens, an anesthesiologist, starts at the end of this month and Dr. Sarah Durney, a family practice doctor, begins in September, as arranged under Barton’s leadership.

Both new doctors will be beneficial additions for the growing community of Powell.

New physician recruitment doesn’t stop there, though. Cardwell is looking to hire not one, but two new obstetrics/gynecology specialists. Recruiting efforts also continue for another orthopedic surgeon, a part-time cardiologist, another family practice physician and a radiation oncologist.

In addition, part of Cardwell’s vision for Powell Valley Healthcare is to start a part-time chemotherapy program here.

To accommodate the growing staff and other needs, the hospital board this week is considering an updated master building plan for the PVHC campus.

While the last year has been marked by challenges and changes, we’re thankful such transitions didn’t hinder the organization.

It’s good to see another chapter beginning, and we hope that under its new leadership, Powell Valley Healthcare continues to grow in healthy ways toward the ultimate goal of better serving Powell and the surrounding communities.

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