Art Frable offered job as HGH CEO

Art Frable offered job as HGH CEO

Art Frable offered job as HGH CEO

It took five members of Humboldt General Hospital’s board less than five minutes to pass a motion to extend a job offer for their top hospital spot to Art Frable.

Board member Richard Cook was not present for the interview or the decision. Although that could suggest the decision was made in haste, that would be far from accurate.

Before Humboldt General Hospital’s Board of Trustees made a final decision to hire Art Frable as their CEO/Administrator, they interviewed him and another CEO candidate on Skype. Frable was then chosen to come to Winnemucca for in-person meetings and interview. He met with community members on Sunday evening, Sept. 10. On Monday, Sept. 11, he went to separate meetings with multiple groups within the hospital.

He met with the physicians, the hospital staff, department supervisors, the management team, interim CEO Darlene Bryan, and the chief financial officer, among others. Monday evening, after that arduous day of meetings, his face-to-face interview with the board of trustees lasted over an hour and a half, during which he stood the entire time.

Anyone who might have wondered about his stamina would have had considerable proof of his energy and presence of mind, as he finished that challenging day with considerable good humor and energetic answers to tough questions. After each meeting, those who attended were asked to fill out a short evaluation of their response and opinion of Frable. Those opinions and comments were gathered and made available to the board and anyone from the public who wanted to see them.

Board members at the hospital where Frable worked previously were contacted. Their input was also gathered and made available to the board and public.

Casalez, as board chair, will work with the board’s legal counsel, Kent Maher, to finalize a contract with Frable.

Details about pay and Frables start date will be worked out and reported to the board.

Board members said they favored contract provisions similar to the one offered their former choice, Linda Simmons, who first accepted — but eventually backed out of the job after her father died. Frable had been one of the initial interviewees back then and had been invited — but did not come — for in-person interviews in Winnemucca last February. The extent of grilling Frable received from the board appeared to be an indication of their desire to make sure he really did want the job and was now the right choice for CEO.

Among many other things, Frable said he favored hiring “an outside, objective, credible firm” to do a pricing study for HGH. He noted such a study would be costly, perhaps as much as $50,000 because the master charge schedule includes some 10,000 items that would have to be compared. However, hospital pricing has been a significant point of contention with the community.

When asked about his ability to recruit medical staff, he said every hospital where he’s previously worked has had to work to recruit physicians and he has been successful in doing so. He talked about his experiences with improving billing issues.

As Frable doesn’t have experience working with a large emergency services organization like HGH EMS, the board asked what he would do to learn what he needs to know in that area. He answered he would start by making sure HGH EMS is aware that he wants to understand what they do and how. Board chair JoAnn Casalez asked whether he had any outside resources he might turn to.

“Sure!” he quickly answered. “My son is a paramedic.”

Board members asked how open he would want to be in communication with the board on hospital issues. He assured them he wanted a great deal of interaction between himself and the board. He said he keeps a running log of each day’s activities and issues and that log is the basis for a regular report to the board.

“That’s my history, my style and my inclination,” Frable said, adding that if anything, he had a tendency to over-explain. That self-evaluation was borne out when Frable’s former board members were contacted by HGH.

Casalez asked Frable what would make him feel successful, should he be chosen as CEO.

His answer included making the hospital profitable enough to pay the bills and fill the needs of the community. “Patient satisfaction, quality care, higher value payments by the government,” he added. “The best indicator of success is what the people in the community think,” he concluded.