Two new members appointed to Citizens Medical Center board
June 16, 2014 at 1:16 a.m.
Updated June 17, 2014 at 1:17 a.m.
After nine months of closed-session discussions, Victoria County Commissioners Court unanimously approved adding two people to the public hospital's board of directors.
The directors, who oversee a $533.3 million budget, meet Wednesday as the new eight-person board.
County Judge Don Pozzi led the vote Monday, which passed with no discussion as to why the change was taking place other than it was recommended by the board.
County Commissioner Danny Garcia said "from the get-go" the board wanted to double to 12 people.
"I personally wouldn't have a problem with adding another board member, but I don't know that I agree that we need 12," he said. "We know for a fact that the two extra ones we put on there will be a big help to them and a big benefit to the board of directors now."
Garcia said the idea was extensively discussed during the past nine months, but hospital CEO Steve Thames said the recommendation came from a strategic planning session in March.
"One recommendation was to have more physician involvement at the board level," Thames said.
The two new members are physician Tanya Seiler and Victoria businessman Ben Galvan.
"I think it's a positive move to try to get more community involvement in our community's hospital," Thames said. "I'm excited."
After Monday's meeting, Pozzi reasoned the change by citing requirements for the Affordable Care Act that create an "ungodly" amount of paperwork.
"We agreed with their recommendation that it was time because of all the changes regarding those requirements," Pozzi said.
He said he anticipates more new members will be added to the board.
"There's no particular reason other than we can consider more," Pozzi said. "We continue to look for qualified people to put on these boards."
He estimated commissioners discussed between 20 and 25 people for the volunteer positions.
"We put a lot of work and effort into the appointments," Pozzi said.
Garcia said the new board members will "hit the ground running" and continue to grow the hospital.
"It's a pretty diverse board, and it's still very well made up of individuals from all aspects of business and accounting," he said. "You bring it together, and they keep a close watch on what's going on."