Doss: Half-dozen options for re-opening Palm Drive
SEBASTOPOL — The board of the Palm Drive Health Care District on Monday night is expected to approve Daymon Doss, a veteran health care administrator with more than 35 years’ experience, as executive director of the district as it seeks a sustainable path following the bankruptcy and shuttering of the 37-bed hospital.
The board said in an announcement that the “action marks a pivotal point … in bringing vital health services to west county residents”
“This is a time of significant transition for our district, and Daymon has experience in leading health care districts through difficult transitions,” board President Chris Dawson said in a statement. “He brings a unique and valuable combination of experience, expertise and a positive, consensus-building approach that will lead us in restoring meaningful health care services in west county.”
Mr. Doss would become top administrator of the district, effective immediately, in the wake of Palm Drive Hospital’s petition for Chapter 9 bankruptcy on April 7 and the closure of the hospital on April 28. He would work 20 hours a week, as an independent consultant, and be paid $108,000 a year. His contract runs for one year but can be renewed at the end of that time.
Mr. Doss would take over for Tom Harlan, the former CEO who recently resigned shortly after the hospital closure. Mr. Doss would be directing the district as it evaluates multiple proposals for bringing new health services to the hospital building, including a smaller acute care hospital or an urgent care center.
A veteran of the North Bay health care sector, Mr. Doss is the former CEO of the Petaluma Health Care District, which owns 80-bed Petaluma Valley Hospital. He has also served as interim CEO of the Redwood Community Health Network, part of the Petaluma-based Redwood Community Health Coalition, and of the Mark Twain Health Care District in San Andreas. He was formerly executive director of the Northern California Health Care Authority, a Sonoma County-based joint powers authority of five health care districts.
Mr. Doss runs his own company, Productivity Plus Systems, based in Kenwood.
In addition to guiding the district through transition, Mr. Doss would also coordinate a series of community meetings, beginning later this month in Sebastopol, Guerneville and Bodega Bay, according to the district, noting that he has personal ties to Palm Drive Hospital — as manager of the Respiratory Therapy Department in 1974 and later as an R.N. working in the intensive care unit.
“I’m very pleased to be coming back to Palm Drive,” Mr. Doss said in a statement. “I’m looking forward to working with the different groups that have an interest or ideas regarding the future of the district and, specifically, Palm Drive Hospital. I’m a person who likes to get to ‘yes.’ If we all work in that spirit, if we evaluate all the possible options — and there are a half-dozen in the air — I think if we do this together we’ll be able to get to a place that makes this happen.”
Mr. Doss’s appointment comes at the same time the Palm Drive Health Care Foundation seeks to reopen Palm Drive as an acute care hospital, although whether that is feasible remains unknown. The foundation fought vociferously with the district board on the decision to shutter all operations, instead insisting that the hospital could be significantly scaled back to help offset deep financial losses in the face of overwhelming competition from large providers in Santa Rosa.
The board, nevertheless, voted for closure with the eventual goal of establishing more profitable and sustainable services, such as urgent care and certain outpatient operations. The Palm Drive foundation recently began working with Terry Newmyer, former CEO of Adventist Health’s Northern California Network, which includes hospitals in St. Helena, Vallejo, Clearlake and Mendocino County.
The district board meets tonight, June 9, at 5 p.m. at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, 282 S. High St.
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