OAKDALE -- The Oak Valley Hospital District has promoted its interim chief executive officer to the permanent job.
John McCormick, 55, had been interim CEO since October. The district's governing board reached a unanimous consensus at last week's meeting to give McCormick a three-year contract, board President Dan Cummins said Wednesday.
"John has proved himself to be very knowledgeable, not only on hospital operations but he comes to us with a heavy financial background," Cummins said. "Right from the start, he has identified ways to increase the hospital's efficiency. He's been very impressive with his overall abilities."
Oak Valley hired McCormick in May 2011 as its chief financial officer. He was named interim CEO when the governing board placed longtime CEO John Friel on paid leave for the remaining four months of his contract. Friel's contract ended Feb. 28.
McCormick said he earns about $205,000 annually plus incentive pay for meeting certain performance benchmarks. His three-year contract was not ready last week, Cummins said.
The governing board is expected to approve McCormick's contract June 27. Cummins declined to reveal McCormick's new salary, but said he will no longer receive incentive pay. Instead, McCormick's base salary will increase.
Cummins said Oak Valley employees had seen the incentive pay given to the health care district's top administrators as bonuses and believed it was wrong for them to receive the additional pay while rank-and-file employees had their pay cut.
Cummins said it's his intent to do away with incentive pay for all top administrators, but that would require increasing their base salaries.
Morale is improving
Cummins said employee morale suffered under Friel's tenure, but said that has not been the case with McCormick.
"The employees have been very pleased with how John goes about his business," Cummins said.
McCormick has a bachelor's degree in accounting from California State University, Fullerton, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He has extensive experience in hospital administration. He's married and the father of a high school freshman.
"I'm excited to be working with such a great group of dedicated employees, doctors and volunteers and thankful to the board for this terrific opportunity," McCormick said.
The public hospital district has an annual operating budget of $64 million and employs 550 part- and full-time employees. It operates Oak Valley Hospital, a long-term care facility, three rural health clinics and four ambulance services. It provides health care to residents of eastern Stanislaus and southern San Joaquin counties.
Oak Valley's next milestone should happen in late July when it opens the ground floor of its new $69 million hospital. The facility's features include a new emergency room and surgical suites.
It will be connected by a wing to the existing hospital, which will continue to offer inpatient services.
The new hospital is two stories, with the second story slated for inpatient services. But the second story is a shell and won't be finished until the district can finance the work.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2316.