Board of Commissioners' Responsibility
Like the pea under the shell game in which the shells switch positions with lightning speed, Arbor Health's board must keep focused on the pea that represents the best care our district can provide for the people it serves. The difference between the shell game and the reality of hospital care is that there is an infinity of shells in healthcare, and it is not a game.
Board members must not only attend every board meeting and carefully study the materials prior to each meeting so that he or she can participate in discussions of the issues at those meetings, they must attend conferences dedicated to the issues facing medicine today, both in the state and in the nation. There are many shells on which to focus. While keeping their collective eyes focused on the organization's stated mission and vision, a board must avoid interfering in the daily operations of the clinics and hospitals themselves. It must represent the hospital to the community and pay strict attention to the statistics that the administration uses as a means of measuring the district's success and shortcomings.
Since so much depends on the performance of the district's CEO, the board continually monitors him or her, both formally and informally; since so much depends on our doctors, the board plays a roll in assuring that their personal backgrounds, experience, education and training meet the standards we expect.
Some of the work of a hospital board is done behind the scenes of the monthly board meetings themselves, the results of which are expressed at full board meetings. Transparency is a precious standard of this board. At the end of each year, the board evaluates itself so that it can become a better board next year. At the end of each commissioner's term in office, he or she must decide if he or she is up to another term. If a vacancy occurs, a new commissioner enters stage left, and his or her education begins; meanwhile, all commissioners continue to offer their individual talents to the mission and to keep their eyes on the pea under the shells.
Hospital Commissioner's Job Description
Our board members operate under this job description.
Board of Commissioners
Roschelle Fritz, Board Chair
Roschelle (Shelly) Fritz, represents the Mossyrock district and comes to the board after more than 20 years of experience in healthcare. Shelly was born at Morton General Hospital and was a local resident until graduating from college with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing in 1992. After living in California and Idaho she returned to Mossyrock in 2006 with her husband and children and settled in on the same street she grew up on. Since returning, Shelly completed a Master's and PhD in Nursing. Shelly is actively involved with healthcare delivery conversations at the state and regional level and serves on several committees focused on issues related to the future delivery of healthcare. She is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Washington State University (WSU) Vancouver and spends most of her time working with a team of scientists who are developing a health-assistive smart home that is designed to extend independence and good health in older adults. Although her office is on the WSU campus in Vancouver, Shelly is able to work from home several days a week.
Shelly strongly believes that Morton General Hospital provides important healthcare services to the people of East Lewis County and will work diligently to make sure that local residents continue to have access to quality care. Shelly also believes Morton General can play a role in improving the health of the local population of East Lewis County.
Shelly's family enjoys water skiing, snow skiing, and socializing around the fire pit in the backyard. Shelly enjoys baking, growing an herb garden, and reading by the fire.
Kenton Smith, Board Secretary
Kent Smith has lived all of his adult life in Packwood and currently represents Randle and Packwood on the Board of Commissioners. Kent believes that board business must be as transparent as possible, that availability of hospital services should be continually expanding to better serve the patrons of the hospital district, and that, in order for a rural hospital to meet those needs, the budget itself will often be riding close to the edge of the district's financial abilities. It is not the job of a hospital district to be a bank to save the people's money, Kent argues, but, as the steward of the people's money, to wisely invest in their current and future medical needs within the constraints imposed upon it by county, state, and federal forces. Not even a hospital district is an entity unto itself. It, too, must offer the best healthcare it can within the purview of the law and according to its financial opportunities.
Kent retired as a local high school English teacher but continues teaching at Centralia College.
Marc Fisher, Commissioner
Marc Fisher represents Commissioner District No. 1, which loosely covers the Morton and Mineral communities. He was appointed to an unexpired term in February 2004. He has served as Chairman of the Board for several years, as well as several years as Secretary to the Board.
Marc graduated from college in 1968 and moved from Colorado to Oregon in 1969. He met his wife, Louise, in 1972 in Portland. Marc and Louise moved to the Morton area in 1984, joining the family Christmas tree business. After 16 years of exciting, healthy work, an offer was presented to buy the business. After the sale, Marc and Louise built a home in Morton. Since that time, he has been active in the community—as volunteer and leader for organizations such as the Lions Club, Cowlitz River Valley Historical Society, Eastern Lewis County Hospital Foundation and the Morton Roxy Theater.
Trish Frady, Commissioner
Trish Frady is a Lewis County native, a Centralia High School graduate, class of 1974. She moved away from Washington for a number of years, returning to Centralia in 1993.
Trish worked as a Nursing Assistant for several years before completing her Associate in Nursing degree at San Juan College, New Mexico, in 1992.
Trish and her husband, Ralph, moved to Morton in 2002, both enjoying the beauty and outdoor activities that the east county offers. Ralph is a graduate of Morton High School and is retired from Lewis County Public Works.
Trish has had many opportunities over the past 25 years for learning and serving in healthcare. She has enjoyed a nursing career that has included hospital medical/surgical care, home health, hospice and outpatient services. For the past several years, Trish has worked in healthcare management as the Director of Nursing and Chief Nursing Officer at Morton General Hospital. Trish has participated as a member in the Northwest Organization of Nurse Executives and Washington Rural Health Collaborative and volunteered at local health fairs and events to promote health and wellness education in the community. Trish retired in December 2015 from Morton General Hospital, accepting a Commissioner position.
Trish has a vested interest and understanding of rural healthcare needs and is committed to the delivery of quality healthcare services to the community. With the many changes in healthcare today, focus on reducing costs and improving quality care delivery is essential.
Judy Ramsey, Commissioner
Judy Ramsey, of Morton, is a lifelong resident of Morton and, in fact, was born at Morton General Hospital, as were her two children and two of her four grandchildren. Thus, when Judy joined the Board of Commissioners in January of 2014, she definitely had a vested interest in keeping Morton General Hospital a viable entity in East Lewis County—not only for its medical care but also the economic impact on our communities.
Judy comes to the board with years of governance experience. She has been a member of the Morton School Board, Morton Chamber of Commerce, Fire Mt. Art Council, and the Lewis County Economic Development Council as the East Lewis County representative. She was also a past president and member of Morton Lion's Club and former president and member of the Eastern Lewis County Hospital Foundation.
Judy worked in the lumber business for 21 years, with 11 of those as sales manager. She was also a financial adviser for Edward Jones Investments, during which time she started an office in Eatonville and in Morton. She currently works part time for Edward Jones and is a caregiver for her parents.
Hospital Administrative Team
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Clinical Officer
Human Resources Director
Kevin McCurry, M.D.
Chief Medical Officer