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BREAKING NEWS

New Guy In Charge

By Staff | Aug 9, 2015

Rick Ash has settled into his new position as CEO?at United Hospital District in Blue Earth.

He wasn’t quite sure he was looking for a change, but he found one with his new position at United Hospital District, in Blue Earth.

And, so far he is happy with the new challenge.

Richard Ash, the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at UHD, has been in the position for four weeks and is really enjoying the job so far.

“I’m very impressed with UHD, the patient centered care, the quality initiatives very impressed,”?Ash says.

Ash had been serving as the CEO of the Ortonville Area Health Services facility prior to coming to UHD.

“It was a critical access hospital with 25 beds, a 10-provider clinic was attached. We also had a 64-bed nursing home and home health/hospice service, and there was a six chair dialysis unit on campus,”?he says.

Ortonville had three campuses with all of those different amenities, but Ash says UHD is still a larger facility.

“But it seems to be very similar in process,”?he adds.

Ash served as CEO?at the Ortonville Area Health Services for just less than 10 years.

“We had just replaced the hospital, added onto the nursing home, and put in a new information system,” Ash explains. “We did a lot in Ortonville, so I felt it was time for a new challenge.”

And, although he was not really looking for a new job somewhere, the position at UHD?sort of found him.

“I had been at a meeting and heard from Larry Anderson (UHD board member) about the position,”?Ash says. “That’s when the interest kind of sparked, even though I wasn’t really looking.”

From there, things just sort of fell into place for Ash and he was hired on as the new CEO of UHD.

“I’m glad to be here, it feels like the right thing and I’m excited for the new challenge,” he adds. “Sometimes in a position like mine you need a new thing to do, something to reinvigorate you and get excited about.”

Now, being with UHD for four weeks, Ash is starting to get a feel for how everything works and says the transition went quite smoothly.

“I’ve about completed a full cycle now I’ve been to one board meeting, been to a medical staff meeting,” he says. “And once you complete a cycle you know what to expect and how to prepare better.”

Ash explains a cycle as being a full month and participating in each of the monthly meetings at UHD.

And, once he becomes more comfortable with all of the work at UHD, Ash is looking forward to getting out in the community of Blue Earth a little more.

“I’m looking forward to integrating into the community,”?he says. “I want to be active in connection with the community.”

One way he plans to do that is to transfer his Kiwanis Club membership to the club in Blue Earth.

When Ash is not busy with work and spending time in the community, he has plenty of other hobbies to participate in.

“My wife Barb and I like to drive around the countryside,”?he says.

He and his wife of more than 36 years also enjoy golfing and spending time with their six grandchildren.

“We have four kids Michael, Rebecca, Amie and Francis and one lives in Ortonville, two in Hibbing and one in Willmar,” Ash says.

So, it isn’t too far to go to visit their family or for family members to visit them here in Blue Earth.

Ash also says he is interested in technology and enjoys working on his computer.

And while he is working or participating in his own hobbies, his wife, Barb, keeps busy with her profession as an artist.

“Barb has a mixed metals jewelry shop,”?Ash says. “She makes rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and she sells them on Etsy.com,”?he says. “She has sold her jewelry to people all over the world.”

And, while the couple has been in Blue Earth for four fast weeks, they have already received a warm welcome from other community members.

“Everyone I have met has been so nice so far,”?he says. “And everyone at UHD has been so friendly and helpful as well.”