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Seven apply for hospital board seat

Submitted by on 1, November 25, 2009 – 5:50 amNo Comment

img_1187-300x202Seven people have applied for a vacant seat on the Alameda Health Care District’s board. The board oversees operations at Alameda Hospital.

The applicants are Stewart Chen, Elliott Gorelick, Jan Greene, James Oddie, Henry Ramos, Leah Williams and Nancy Wise.

The board will interview applicants at its December 7 meeting and make an appointment that night to fill the seat vacated by Steven Wasson in October. Wasson’s term was to expire in November 2010.

The original deadline to apply was November 6, but the board opted to extend the deadline by two weeks to try to build a broader applicant pool.

Chen, a chiropractor whose public service includes eight years on Alameda’s Social Services Human Relations Board and a new role on Alameda County’s Human Relations Board, told The Island that he wants to make sure the hospital is financially sound and able to continue for future generations. He said he could also provide a voice for Asian Americans and that he would like to see the Island’s Asian American residents make better use of their local hospital.

He said he’d like to see the hospital expand its services so it becomes a regional draw. “We will provide such a high level of service that residents of other cities would be willing to come for miles to our hospital,” Chen wrote.

Gorelick, a pharmacist intern at Kaiser Permanente in Walnut Creek, said his goal would be to make the hospital, which receives parcel tax dollars from local residents, self sustaining or to shut it down. He has taught courses in economics, accounting and marketing at St. Mary’s College in Moraga and has worked at a series of tech companies.

“I am a skeptic and the District Board has been way too complacent since its inception,” Gorelick, who ran for a board seat in 2004, wrote in his application.

Greene is a local journalist who has written about health care for the past 16 years and who writes regularly for a magazine for hospital trustees. She said she wants to help the health care district “continue its transition toward financial stability and long-term growth.”

“I’d like to use what I’ve learned about health care over the past 16 years to help guide the future of our community hospital. Alameda taxpayers need to know their property tax money is being spent on the smartest possible use of that resource,” Greene told The Island. (Disclosure: Jan Greene is a friend of mine.)

Ramos, a lifelong Alameda resident who works in sales, said he wants to see Alameda Hospital become a model community hospital that provides high-quality acute care. He said he’s got the corporate experience and creativity to keep the hospital sustainable.

He said he’s work to get insurers to pay for care at the hospital. “Given a choice, people would like to stay on the Island for care,” Ramos said. “If Alameda Hospital could be their first or second choice, people would go there.”

Wise is a business consultant whose work has been focused in the health care industry. Wise, who has both a masters of public health and a masters of business administration from the University at California, Berkeley, has worked as the director of strategic and product development for Blue Shield of California and, most recently, as a consultant for a boutique health care management firm.

Wise said she’d like to use her skills and knowledge of the industry to contribute to the community she’s grown to love. “As a steward of the community’s interests on the board, I would see it as my role to ensure that the plans for Alameda Hospital are realistic, grounded in reality, and relevant for the evolving health care landscape,” she wrote in her application.

James Oddie is an attorney who also serves as the co-president of the Alameda Democratic Club. He also has business and finance experience, he wrote in his application.

Oddie said the hospital needs remain financially sound and to provide state of the art medical care. He said it needs to continue to partner with other health care organizations.

Williams is an attorney who runs a consulting firm that has handled policy and communication strategies. She said she’d work with community members and medical professionals to look for ways to expand the hospital’s relationships and services.

“One idea … translate Alameda Hospital’s remote location on the Island into a network of high end preventative and elective health services that would attract patients from across the Bay Area,” she wrote in her application. “Residents of the East Bay and San Francisco travel long distances for these services – from sports medicine, to plastic surgery, to dermatology and skin care services.”

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