Hospital board shake-up fails to pass muster

CCMSD taking steps to set up own foundation


December 9, 2021

One trustee’s suggestion that Crook County Medical Services District (CCMSD) might benefit from a shake-up in leadership failed to pass the vote on Thursday.

Trustee Sandy Neiman nominated Trustee Ed Ray to take over as the chairman of the board for the next year, citing his soft-spoken demeanor and how far he’s come since he was nominated to the seat two years ago.

She also suggested that it might bring forth the possibility of getting the Crook County Medical Foundation (CCMF) to work with the district again.

“I don’t think that would happen with Mark [Erickson] as president,” she said.

The district has disavowed the foundation over recent months after the announcement that Campbell County Health had been offered a contract to occupy the new Red Bluffs Clinic in Hulett. Board members – including Erickson – felt this was a clear demonstration of the foundation’s overall mandate to support healthcare in the county, rather than CCMSD itself.

Board members expressed concern that someone who donated money to the foundation for the district might not realize that there was nothing compelling the foundation to actually spend it on district needs. Board Attorney Kara Ellsbury was directed to begin the legal process of setting up a foundation within CCMSD itself.

On Thursday, Ellsbury reported on this work, saying that the paperwork has been drafted but a few details still remain to be ironed out. She expected to be ready to send a draft to board members this week.

Meanwhile, CCMSD’s clinic in Hulett will see a rebranding, with the new name of “Hulett Hometown Clinic” and new signage accordingly. CEO Micki Lyons was given permission to spend up to $100,000 to improve the facility in whatever ways are needed.

This information was shared shortly before the annual election of officers and Neiman’s suggestion to replace Erickson. However, Ray was extremely reluctant to accept the nomination.

Aside from feeling that his lifestyle would not permit him to fulfill the duties as well as he would want to, Ray said he simply did not feel ready to step into the chairman’s role.

“I need another year,” he stated.

With that said, the board moved to keep things the same as they are currently, with Erickson as chairman. The

vote passed unanimously.


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