James Marshall top contender for CEO position at The Memorial Hospital | CraigDailyPress.com

James Marshall top contender for CEO position at The Memorial Hospital

North Dakota hospital among candidate’s resume

James Marshall addresses a number of Craig residents and hospital staff Wednesday night in the conference room of The Memorial Hospital. Marshall is a finalist for the CEO position at TMH.

The Memorial Hospital's search for a permanent chief executive officer has yielded a finalist for the job.

James Marshall currently stands as the primary candidate to take up the mantle of CEO for the hospital, the only one of four potential interviewees for the job to be brought back for additional consideration. On Wednesday evening, he met with hospital administration and community members this week to familiarize himself with the community where he might be living and for them to get to know him.

Marshall is the president of Mercy Hospital in Devils Lake, North Dakota, an organization he has been with for the past five years. The size of his present facility is comparable to TMH, as is the geographic location of Devils Lake to Northwest Colorado.

Marshall explained to a crowd of about a dozen residents that he was attracted to the rural feel of Craig and the kind of work involved in heading up a critical access hospital.

"Coming here, I think I can carry it to the next level," he said. "There's a lot of challenges, but there are also a lot of opportunities."

Among the immediate concerns he said he'd like to address is the issue of Craig residents seeking care in Steamboat Springs, Grand Junction or other cities when they could receive that care locally.

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"We need to recapture that market," he said. "We've got to focus on what our community needs and getting them quality care."

In describing other goals he'd like to see happen at TMH pending his hiring, Marshall also mentioned the idea of better utilizing or expanding existing hospital services as well as better promoting those that aren't well known by Craig residents.

Those in attendance asked Marshall about his impressions of TMH's management services company, Quorum Health Resources, as well as the idea of providing better health care for veterans.

Mayor Terry Carwile was in the audience, telling Marshall that the "distressing turnover rate" at TMH also needed to be remedied, starting with those "at the top."

"It would be nice to see someone who could come in and commit for the long term," he said. "That in itself would help build relationships."

Since the beginning of 2013, the CEO position has been filled for various intervals by five different people, with John Rossfeld currently in the job in an interim role.

Marshall said should he be offered the job, he plans to root himself in Craig with his wife, Jessica, and their three sons.

"Being part of the area here is a big, big thing for us," he said.

The Board of Trustees also met with Marshall to discuss the job. Legally, they are required to wait two weeks from the initial announcement of a candidate being under consideration, which first was publicized May 16, before they confer with QHR for any negotiations.

Any news about the job likely will be revealed at the board's Thursday meeting.

Although no decisions have been made, TMH administrators said they are impressed with Marshall's energy and initial rapport with many locals.

"I think he'll be a great asset to the hospital and the community," Rossfeld said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com.