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Monday, Jun 09 2014 07:31 PM

Rayner resigns, healthcaredistrict resumes CEO search

The Tehachapi Valley Healthcare District returned to the drawing board in its search for a permanent chief executive office following the resignation of its current interim chief.

Evan Rayner, the interim CEO for the healthcare district, resigned his post effective June 30, according to the closed session report from a June 3 special meeting.

Mike Nixon, president of the board of directors for the healthcare district, confirmed Rayner's resignation on June 4.

"Evan (Rayner) had a much better offer from another hospital with more pay," Nixon said.

Nixon gave all indication that Rayner's decision came just as the board was about to make its final decision for a permanent CEO.

"He did really well for the district," Nixon said. "We were actually in final talks with him over the position."

Rayner filled the top position vacated first by former CEO Alan Burgess and then briefly filled by Christine Sherrill, the hospital's privacy officer on an acting basis. Burgess left his post in October 2013 and Sherrill did not desire the long-term position.

Rayner, a veteran administrator in the health care industry, signed on in December and filled the role for more than six months.

His tenure as interim chief saw the advancement of the beginning stages of a new hospital on Capital Hills, the expansion of new services and the development of a new partnership with Bakersfield Memorial Hospital for stroke services

With his departure, the board will return to beating the bushes for a full time replacement.

"We're back to looking for a full time CEO," Nixon, the board president, said. He could not provide a list of names but added the district is not completely back at square one.

"There were some people from the last search that we may call back in for follow-up interviews," Nixon said. "We also have a list of recommended names from other contacts that we can look at."

The district's hope is to have someone in place before Rayner leaves at the end of the month, but Nixon said there is a small safety net.

"We have staff at the district that can handle the interim duties while we find someone," Nixon said. "That's life in the fast lane."

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