Hospital board to interview 3 finalists

The board will interview three finalists for an open position on the elected board this Thursday.

Members of the WhidbeyHealth hospital board will interview three finalists for an open position on the elected board this Thursday.

The board will question the three people in public, as required by state law. As of Monday, the board hadn’t designated space in the meeting agenda to also appoint the new board member, but that could change as the meeting draws near, according to a hospital spokesperson.

The three finalists are Morgan Cooper, David Allen RN PhD and Greg Richardson, SPHR.

Cooper, a Langley resident, has over 25 years in sales and marketing-related experience that includes health care services and is the owner of a company that provides “struggling bariatric programs an affordable resource to grow,” according to her application.

Allen, a Freeland resident, is a retired dean of University of Washington Bothell and professor of nursing and health studies. He is a member of the community board for Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett and the vice presient of Whidbey Audubon Society.

Richardson is a retired partner with a human resources consulting firm and has “over 40 years of experience managing operational functions, organizational challenges, training and development programs and human resource functionality,” according to his application. He has specialized in working with healthcare organizations. He retired as a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force in 1993.

The other four people who applied but weren’t chosen for interviews were Dr. Mark Borden, Julie Bryan RN, Mike Ratliff and James Canby. Borden was the former emergency department director who was forced out and stripped of his privileges after publicly criticizing the hospital and being accused of unprofessional conduct.

Earlier this year, Nancy Fey announced her resignation, effective Sept. 30, from the board of the public hospital district. Fey, a former pharmacist with decades of experience, was originally appointed to the board in 2013.

The board changed the rules earlier this year to do away with the district system in order to increase the number of potential candidates. Now board members will be at-large positions.

The new appointee would need to run and win in the general election in 2023 to retain the commissioner seat through 2025. If the appointed commissioner would like to continue to serve the hospital district, she or he would then follow the standard election cycle of a six-year term, beginning with the 2025 general election.

It’s relatively common for hospital board members to be first appointed before later running for election. Critics have accused the board of using the appointment process as a way to control who gets on the board since it was seen as easier to win an election after serving an appointment. James Golder, however, challenged the assumption when he beat an appointed candidate in the election last year.