But pens list of challenges that boards and employees throughout Plumas can embrace
When true leaders step away from an organization, the work can continue uninterrupted because they have set it up to flourish without them. They have hired competent staff, established sound practices and set an example. Such was the case when Mimi Hall resigned as Plumas County’s public health director. Her assistant director and staff stepped up and continued the work. Now it will be Plumas District Hospital’s turn.
Dr. Jeff Kepple announced last week that he would be relinquishing his duties as CEO of the hospital by the end of 2018. What had been an interim assignment turned into a four-year commitment, and the physician-turned-administrator wants to return to patient care by expanding his dermatological practice and enjoy more time with his family. His announcement comes as a blow to the community because his compassionate management style and tenacity were exactly what the hospital needed at the time he took over the administration. Patients have benefited by greater access to health care with a host of new providers, enhanced facilities, new equipment, improved billing, and more. However those who know the doctor personally are happy for him.
Dr. Kepple answered the call four years ago when the hospital board asked for his help. Like boards across this county, the hospital board members are volunteers, and are tasked with ensuring that area residents have access to quality health care. Other boards oversee drinking water, sewer systems, fire protection, recreation, natural resources, and the list goes on. In the adjacent opinion piece, staff writer Maggie Wells calls upon the younger generations to get involved and we hope that they do, but that doesn’t in any way diminish the work that the older generations have done and continue to do. Everyone who serves on a board does so at personal sacrifice.
With that in mind, we are sharing some advice that Dr. Kepple gave to his staff in announcing his decision to leave his position. The following points are applicable whether one serves on a board, is an employee, or really, in any way interacts with others.
1. Keep pursuing excellence! Even when it’s extremely hard, even when it’s not expected, and even when it makes others uncomfortable, never give up. However, pursue excellence in a way that inspires others to join you, not avoid you.
2. Continue to do the hard work of getting along with all of your coworkers. This will require a commitment to ongoing, healthy, face-to-face dialogue. The intent to understand another’s viewpoint should be just as important as the desire to be understood.
3. Always look for better ways to do things, but realize it will likely take compromise. Negotiate, reach middle ground solutions, agree to disagree, but by all means show gratitude and grace in the process.
4. Be committed to teamwork. I have spent 23 years in clinical medicine and four years in administration. Both the clinical and administrative aspects are of vital importance to the success of an organization. Keep working hard not to have it be an “us” and “them,” but a “we” mentality.