Local News

WMC replacement project back on track

The Wrangell Medical Center Replacement Project is moving forward.

The project was initially stalled as a result of the recall of eight of the nine hospital board members over the summer. Wrangell Borough Manager Tim Rooney said, based on the recommendation from the USDA, the city must now terminate current loans through the agency and begin a new application process. Those loans totaled nearly $25 million in American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds.

“The ARRA funds had a deadline, and that was USDA’s recommendation was to de-commit on those loans and reapply for loans that don’t have some of the specifications, or some of the limitations that the ARRA funds have. They felt fine in that there was more than enough money available in that fund as well,” he said.

Rooney said that process should get underway soon and any updates he has will be included in his biweekly Borough Manager’s Report.

Hospital board members also are preparing to search for the medical center’s next CEO. President Woody Wilson said the hospital’s contract with Peace Health gives them about a year to find a new administrator.

“One of the things that boards typical do before they go into a search for your CEO is they, usually, take some time to think about ‘what is it we’re looking for in a CEO?’ It’s pretty important that you consider that and think about the traits, and it would also be, in light of recent history in Wrangell, I think, prudent to ask the community: what is it they’re looking for,” he said.

He said the board could use a checklist of traits to help in the selection process. Wilson requested board members bring in a list of traits for next month’s regular meeting. He suggested the board publish that list and then accept public comment. Wilson and the other members of the board also mentioned reviewing and possibly altering the job description. The board’s next regular meeting is November 21.

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