Board seeks new Ephrata hospital CEO

New acute care wing reaches drywall and tile installation stage

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There's visible progress on the new acute care wing at Columbia Basin Hospital in Ephrata.

EPHRATA - Columbia Basin Hospital officials have started the search for a new chief executive officer, but it's going to be a deliberative process.

The new CEO will replace Robert Reeder, who resigned in December 2012. Executive assistant Rosalinda Kibby has been acting as CEO, but has declined to be a candidate for the permanent position, said Alyana Lodi, the hospital's community relations coordinator.

Hospital officials are advertising the position on the hospital's website and using in-state media sources. No closing date has been established. "We're taking our time," Lodi said.

Currently the hospital board does not plan to hire an outside search firm, Lodi said. Board members are reviewing applications as they are received.

"We want to find the best fit for us," Lodi said. There's no timetable for naming a new CEO, but when Reeder resigned, board chair Donna Knauss said finding a replacement could take up to a year.

The hospital is in the middle of a $9.3 million, two-year expansion project, starting with a new acute care wing. Currently construction crews are installing interior drywall and windows in the patient rooms, Lodi said.

The next steps are installing tile and painting. Completion of the first phase is projected for October or early November, she said.

The project is ahead of schedule, Lodi said. Originally all three phases were scheduled for completion by fall 2014, she said, but the project could be complete by spring 2014.

The second phase will include remodeling the nursing home, which will have 10 rooms, eight of them single occupancy and two double occupancy, Lodi said. Remodeling the current acute care wing also is part of the second phase; it will become office space.

The third phase will include a remodel of the lobby, Lodi said. Columbia Basin Family Health, the existing clinic, and the extended living facility, Garden Oasis Assisted Living, were remodeled in 1998 and are not part of the current project.

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