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Job description adopted for Rice Memorial Hospital Board

WILLMAR -- Rice Memorial Hospital's board of directors never had a job description, until now.

Board members approved the new document Wednesday, after weeks of mulling and revising the draft proposal. The written job description is supposed to help more clearly delineate the board's role and responsibilities.

"This is something the board needs to adopt," said board member David Anfinson.

Hospital board members are appointed by the mayor of Willmar. They are tasked with overseeing the $90 million-plus annual operation of the city-owned hospital and its affiliated entities, the Rice Care Center and Rice Home Medical.

The board's new job description summarizes board members' duties this way: "The board has full control of the operation and management of the Rice Memorial Hospital organization and of the employment of its chief executive officer."

Qualities expected in a board member include a commitment to continual learning, good skills in communicating and negotiating, and self-motivation.

Hospital board members receive no pay but must attend board meetings once a month, plus committee meetings, social and business functions, and ongoing education at workshops and conferences. They have oversight of Rice's finances, management and quality of care. Board members also are the ones who set the strategic direction for the Rice organization.

Board member Richard Engan said the job description should help spell out the duties more clearly for newly appointed board members, as well as current members. It will also help the mayor identify suitable candidates and make the requirements and expectations clear during the appointment process, he said.

Anne Polta

Anne Polta covers health care, business/economic development and general assignment. Her HealthBeat blog can be found at Follow her on Twitter at @AnnePolta.

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