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County looking for interim medical director

Published 5:51pm Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One of those parties might include St. Luke’s Hospital, which is responsible for a portion of the medical director’s salary per the hospital’s lease with the county.

St. Luke’s Hospital CEO Ken Shull said it’s important for the medical director to have a clear understanding of how emergency medicine works.

“Hopefully the person would have experience in emergency management inside and outside the hospital,” Shull said. “Any EMS director needs to have good communication, effective communication, with our emergency system here. There are people in the field needing to call back in for direction, so it has to be a good working relationship.”

By state statute the individual selected as medical director for the county must hold a current license to practice medicine, have an endorsement indicating a working relationship with the local physician community and preferably hold board certification of be board prepared in emergency medicine, among other qualifications.

Dr. Owens has served as an emergency room physician at St. Luke’s Hospital since 1990. She took on the role of county medical director in 2000.

Pittman said the commission wants to find the best possible candidate for the position. He said they would likely seek someone outside of the county on an interim basis.

“Any person that would take it in the interim would also probably want it in the long-term. So we will probably consider someone who is not local as an interim solution, because we don’t want to seem partial to anybody locally who would want to put in for it,” Pittman said.

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