OTHELLO — Othello native Nieves Gomez was named as the new president and chief executive officer of the Columbia Basin Health Association. Gomez will succeed Greg Brandenberg.
Gomez takes over the job March 1.
Gomez said he was “incredibly humbled and excited” by the opportunity. The clinic is “positioned to become the new standard in healthcare in the rural United States,” he said, and the clinic, its staff and patients have “great opportunities in front of us,” he said.
Mike Garza, chair of the clinic’s board of directors, called Gomez “the best fit to assume leadership” of CBHA. Gomez is “an exceptional leader in healthcare,” he said.
“He has grown with CBHA as a successful executive,” Brandenberg said. “Nieves is a valuable leader who has been responsible for a great portion of our success in the last five years.”
Gomez has been vice president of operations since mid-2017. In that role, he was administrator for three site directors and for the business managers at the pharmacy and vision clinics. He was also responsible for oversight of the Othello cafe coordinator, contact center manager and facilities manager.
Gomez worked his way up at CBHA, starting as a summer intern in 2007. He became clinic manager in Mattawa, then was appointed director of quality.
He was named director of operations in November 2016. In that role he was in charge of developing and implementing strategic plans for clinical programs, worked with the CBHA technology department and with CBHA employees to improve the way the clinics operated.
His first job at CBHA focused on behavioral health and outreach. He has masters degrees in public administration and social work, both from Eastern Washington University.
Gomez was one of two finalists for the job, after a search that went nationwide. The final pool included seven people, three candidates from outside CBHA and four internal candidates.
Garza expressed appreciation to the board of directors and executive team for their participation in the selection process, and the effort and opinions of staff and community who participated.
Gomez and his wife have three children. “He enjoys spending time with his family, playing guitar, catching a movie once in a while and playing soccer when he can,” Garza said.