Board releases statement on hospital… asks for community input

by Richard Uhlhorn

On Friday, December 21, the Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Clinic released a Press Release naming Interim CEO Steve Patonai as its new permanent CEO. This highly unusual move came after seven months of working with B.E. Smith, a national recruitment firm, to find a new CEO.

After interviewing six candidates over the seven month period, the Board offered the job to Patonai. What is interesting about this move is that when Patonai took the interim job, he specifically stated that he was neither a candidate or interested in becoming a permanent CEO.

I have an interview with Mr. Patonai coming up next week. If there are any concerns or questions you would like asked, let me know and I will ask.



Hospital Board of Commissioners

Following is a statement to the Community from the Board of Commissioners:

December 20, 2018

Dear Lake Chelan community,

Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Clinics (LCCHC) Board of Commissioners has been working on your behalf on three major activities which will impact health care in our community for many years to come.  These are to:

1)  enhance the health and wellness of residents and visitors,

  2)  improve quality of care to the highest standards, and

  3)  lower health care costs.

We want you to know what we are focused on, and how you can help.

What is the Board doing to prepare for our healthcare future? Our LCCHC Board and key hospital and clinic leaders met for two days in August to develop a Ten Year Vision for LCCHC. This is the most far-reaching strategic plan we have ever developed. It will be updated every year as new information emerges, but we already know enough about the rapidly-changing U.S. health care system to be able to predict numerous local effects.  Many of you are already experiencing these changes. The Board’s Ten Year Vision will safeguard LCCHC’s ability to financially thrive in the years ahead and ensure high-care quality to our community.

LCCHC is now focused on six key areas of Performance Excellence in our Vision: People, Service, Quality & Safety, Growth & Innovation, Finance, and Community.  Excellence in all six of these areas are interrelated and necessary to be successful long-term.  LCCHC employees in all areas are working to achieve measurable results. Progress will be monitored to assure that you have satisfying experiences each and every time you encounter LCCHC.

When will the Board hire a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO)? For the last 7 months, the Board has worked with B.E. Smith, a national recruitment firm, to help identify highly-skilled CEO candidates who would love to work in a small but growing rural community. We have taken the necessary time to make sure that the CEO will be the best match to help LCCHC achieve our vision and become a respected leader in our community. Our standards are high, because community expectations are high. All candidates interviewed were very qualified to fill the CEO position but did not “fit” our overall needs.


LCCHC CEO Steve Patonai

The Board has offered the CEO position to our Interim CEO, Steve Patonai. During his tenure at LCCHC we have directed Steve to make the necessary improvements to move LCCHC thoughtfully and strategically towards our Vision. As the new CEO Steve will continue these improvements. During this time of significant challenges and changes, we especially appreciate LCCHC leaders and employees working cooperatively, together, in pursuit of excellence on all levels of our organization. The Board is very confident and supportive of the direction in which we are headed under the leadership of Steve Patonai.  He is the best fit for our organization to guide us to the level needed for achievement of our goals and Vision.

When will the Board break ground for the new Health Care Facility? Thanks to the community-approved local levy in 2017 and the USDA guaranteed loan in October 2018, funding is now in place. We must now refine and finalize a detailed building plan to be sure that every detail and space will support the health needs of our community (the new Ten Year Vision).  We anticipate breaking ground in the Fall of 2019 with construction being completed in early 2021. The Board’s goal is to provide a facility built within the $44.5 million budget, in the right size and design to support innovation of the highest quality experience for all, long into the future.

What does the Board need from the community in order to succeed?  LCCHC is your local health care organization for emergency and outpatient medical services, primary and wellness care, specialty care, and a long list of health and education services. We need your support as we move forward.  Your vision of community health care needs is very important to the Board.  The merging of the Community Vision with the Board’s Ten Year Vision will provide  quality health care for everyone in the community  now and in the future. Feedback about your health care experiences will help us to continuously improve care. Please let us know how the Lake Chelan Community Hospital and Clinics can best serve you.

For a healthy Chelan Valley,

Board of Commissioners: Mary Signorelli, Phyllis Gleasman, Fred Miller, Jordana LaPorte, Mary Murphy

Author: allthingslakechelan

I have been a journalist, photojournalist and reporter in the Lake Chelan Valley since 1988; first with the Wenatchee World, then 15 years at the Lake Chelan Mirror and another 12 years at GoLakeChelan. Currently, I am semi-retired but can't give up the media gig which is why I started All Things Lake Chelan blog. I also have two social media platforms; allthingslakechelan/facebook and lakechelansportsandrecration/facebook. I am also a professional photographer with many credits with major outlets around the world.

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