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January 10, 2012 8:45 am

EDITORIAL: Steering Powell Valley Healthcare in a new direction

Written by Tessa Schweigert

Once again, Powell Valley Healthcare will be under the direction of a new leader.

It’s welcome news following a tumultuous year and a half.

A brief recap: former CEO Rod Barton resigned in 2010, and the organization hired a new CEO several months later. In the span of a year, that CEO would be hired twice — only to leave the job twice.

Paul Cardwell initially accepted the CEO position in the fall of 2010, but changed his mind in November that year. He then interviewed again and was hired a second time in February. This time he took the helm, then resigned in September.

HealthTech, the company that employs the CEO at Powell Valley Healthcare, accepted his resignation. When Cardwell tried to rescind his resignation days later, HealthTech refused. The PVHC board backed that decision, and rightfully so.

Cardwell’s coming and going was bookended by two interim leaders, who each served the organization well.

But a committed, qualified CEO is needed, and it looks like HealthTech and Powell Valley Healthcare have found the right leader in Bill Patten, who will begin next month.

Patten has 25 years of healthcare experience — 15 of those years as chief executive officer at small, rural hospitals in the Western United States.

He is ready to invest in the Powell community and already is looking at ways to improve healthcare services here. Patten has discussed focusing on the surgery department, a master plan and the possibility of offering chemotherapy treatments.

Patten also said he is willing to work closely with the PVHC board to build a relationship of trust.

“The hospital is positioned for success. What the organization needs is consistent leadership,” he said.

We couldn’t agree more.

Powell Valley Healthcare is vital to our community. A rural hospital is the lifeblood of a community in many ways, from providing essential medical services to serving as one of the largest employers in a small town.

The entire organization must be directed by a strong leader who keeps operations financially solvent while also striving to maintain quality care, expand medical services and improve aging facilities.

Despite times of turnover and transition, Powell Valley Healthcare appears to be poised for a better future under new — and consistent, we hope — leadership.

2 comments

  • Comment Link January 24, 2012 7:11 pm posted by BLAH

    PVHC is a joke.

  • Comment Link January 31, 2012 9:03 am posted by Greg

    Hope is a good thing. Pandora left it in the box for a reason. Leadership is required for PVHC to provide quality health care for the community. I am thinking that prviously PVHC had management but not leadership.
    My 2 cents :-)

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