Eastern Plumas Healthcare in Portola has a new CEO on board as of Jan. 3, and Todd Plimpton took a moment recently to introduce himself to the community.
Plimpton was born in Lakeview, Oregon, and moved around quite frequently due to his father’s work in the field of contracting. Eventually, Plimpton landed in Fallon, Nevada, where he went to high school, after which he decided to further his education at University of Nevada while concurrently enlisting in the army at age 17.
Plimpton served his country in the National Guard throughout his years of higher education, ultimately choosing to get his Doctorate in Jurisprudence at Willamette University.
Once Plimpton had graduated from law school, he spent time gaining experience as he worked for the attorney general’s office, served as the deputy city attorney in Fallon, and clerked for a judge. “In 1991, I opened my own practice in Lovelock, Nevada, called Bellinger and Plimpton,” Plimpton noted.
This practice opened doors for Plimpton to ultimately begin working with hospitals across the region in a legal capacity, while continuing to serve in the Army.
“Four or five years ago, I began consulting with what are termed ‘critical access’ hospitals, which led to networking in the industry,” Plimpton explained. “Then, the question of whether I would be interested in a CEO position became a focal point.”
The position that caught Plimpton’s attention turned out to be the opening at EPHC for a CEO, and Plimpton felt it was a perfect time to grab the opportunity to work in the hospital and maintain a rural lifestyle.
“My family and I visited the area growing up, and I always enjoyed the area,” Plimpton said of his choice to live in the Lost Sierra. “When the CEO position opened up, I felt that EPHC was a good critical access hospital that could be made great.”
Plimpton relocated to Gold Mountain and set to work at EPHC. “When it comes to my vision for the future of EPHC, I feel that we are really centered around the ‘who’ aspect. If you get the ‘who’ right, the ‘what’ cares for itself. We are highly focused on getting the right team to give the community what it needs.”
Some changes have already gone into effect since Plimpton’s arrival, including a focus on fixed acute and swing, meaning more patients are being treated in house at a rate of five to six inpatients per day at EPHC, which Plimpton explained was a change from days past when many were sent on to a hospital in Reno rather than completing treatment at EPHC.
Plimpton also noted that the skilled nursing facilities at EPHC in both Portola and Loyalton were averaging at 65 percent occupancy at both locations, yet both had waiting lists. “The new CNO and I put together a program to fill beds at both SNF locations, and Loyalton is projected to be at 85 to 90 percent occupancy by the end of May,” Plimpton said, “This is something that is helpful for the community.”
Plimpton also has a lens on the high veteran population in the area, and strives to ensure that they, along with all other community members, have access to the health care they need.
Plimpton has been working to foster and encourage strong relationships with the Seneca and Plumas healthcare districts, noting his high regard for both hospitals and staff. “I look forward to working with the CEOs of Seneca and PDH in the future,” he smiled.
Plimpton also highlighted his ongoing push to reach out to the community, with efforts going toward leadership engagement with the district attorney, sheriff’s office, the mayor of Portola, as well as working with the city on items such as utilization of the pool for physical therapy.
“We are working on outreach to students and staff at both CRC and PJSHS, as well as engaging in community events such as the upcoming Lost and Found Gravel Grinder bike race and Concerts in the Park — we’re always looking for opportunities to participate and give back,” he said. “I think that people in our local community should try to make an effort to really use EPHC — we’re one of the largest employers in the region, and we focus on keeping open local accessibility.
“We have great clinical services, and great physicians, and now we have remodeled clinics as well,” Plimpton closed. “A thought in the past was that it was hard to recruit to EPHC, but I find that to be untrue. This hospital has all the potential in the world.”