The United Hospital District has made a big decision in regard to the future operation of the organization.
UHD, which is currently a governmental district, is on it's way to adopting a hybrid operating model.
On Tuesday, the 13-member UHD board voted unanimously in favor of the change in governance after hearing from task force members which were assembled last summer to research different organizational models.
The task force presented a hybrid model to the board which would include a 501(c)3 non-profit operating board.
Hospital Administrator Jeff Lang presented the timeline of the task force's research. The research included options such as affiliating with larger organizations and remaining a district.
"The 501(c)3 yielded the greatest results which were significantly more successful than a district," Lang says.
Bill Eckles, a member of the task force, gave his individual opinion on the route he felt the board should take which favored the hybrid model.
"This model allows flexibility. In a straight district board, members are elected so you aren't able to go out and select the people who have desired skill sets," he says.
After receiving input from the members of the task force, the board members reflected on the topic.
Many of the board members admitted that they were hesitant of the change in the beginning but are now in favor.
"We can write into the contract as much control from the community as we want," adds board member Joyce Ehrich.
Board member Melanie Humburg agrees and says switching to a new governance isn't going to create a loss of control but will allow the operating board to act on some issues more quickly.
After making the recommendation to move ahead with the hybrid model, the board dismissed the task force.
The hospital board then made a motion giving Tom Schroeder of Clifton Larson Allen the OK to prepare forms to become a non-profit.
"This is not a vote saying we have a new governance board, this is a motion saying we are going full-steam ahead with the hybrid-model system," Schroeder says.
The next step in this process is for the board to develop and fine tune a model to specifically fit the needs of UHD.