Polk seeking new EMS medical director

Published 6:53 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2013

by Samantha Hurst/Leah Justice

The Polk County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to seek a new medical director during its Monday, Jan. 7 meeting.

Commissioners entered into a closed session around 8 p.m. When they returned, commissioner chair Michael Gage said during the session commissioners discussed the county’s EMS medical director.

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Gage said, “The county’s been suffering for at least eight to 10 years.”

He referenced issues with getting training completed and with having a clear-cut direction for the department.

“That’s why we are going to seek to find a new medical director,” Gage said. “That’s where we are at this time.”

Dr. Allison Owens currently serves as the medical director through a joint agreement with St. Luke’s Hospital.

Commissioner Ray Gasperson, who voted against replacing Dr. Owens, originally requested placing on the agenda an update on what was discussed during a meeting held with St. Luke’s representatives on Friday, Jan. 4.

Gage responded that the issue was personnel related and could not be discussed in open session.

Interim Polk County Manager Marche Pittman has been charged with leading the search for someone to replace Dr. Owens.