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Authority names two as ex-officio to RVHS

The county’s hospital board Appointing Authority has named two ex-officio members to the now eight member governing body of River Valley Health System.

Tuesday, January 09, 2001

The county’s hospital board Appointing Authority has named two ex-officio members to the now eight member governing body of River Valley Health System.

"We appointed two members and if the hospital board wants to add to it, they can," county commissioner Paul Herrell said.

Named as ex-officio members – meaning they can attend meetings but cannot officially vote – were the CAO’s medical chief of staff and the RVHS chief of staff, currently held by Dr. Gail Feinberg and Dr. David Porter, respectively.

Herrell said he has faith in the new board members, as well as the ex-officio members who will serve in an advisory capacity.

"If anyone can turn it around, they can," he said.

Authority member Judge Richard Walton said the ex-officio members will add to the team of people who now have input into the hospital.

The authority’s action came just after the Lawrence County Commission’s organizational meeting Monday morning.

At that meeting earlier, the board named Paul Herrell as president this year. Commissioner Jason Stephens will serve as vice president.

"We have several issues to work on, a new jail for one thing," Herrell said.

The Union-Rome Sewer District’s financial woes and the county’s economic status also will take top billing, he added.

The county is still committed to working with the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation and the city on projects, as well as living within a budget cut by 12 percent this year, Herrell said.

"I can’t foresee layoffs or anything like that if we can stay within the 12 percent and I think we can," he said.

Turnaround could be near, too, Herrell said.

I see some positive things down the road," he said. "This $1 billion power plant in Hamilton Township for instance. That will probably bring $1 million in tax revenues."

The Liebert Corp. expansion also will boost tax bases and the Ironton-Huntington Empowerment Zone will be attractive to industries that can improve the county’s financial situation even further, Herrell said.

"But everybody still has to live within their budget."