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Hospital commissioner steps down from board


Rick King

Rick King stepped down from his longtime post as hospital district commissioner Wednesday, ending a 14-year volunteer career capped by the building of a new hospital.

“This has been one of the hardest things to decide,” King said, announcing his resignation at the regular monthly meeting of the Douglas, Grant, Lincoln, Okanogan Hospital District 6 board of commissioners.

“It’s been one of the funnest things I’ve done, being on this board. And it’s been one of the worst things I’ve done,” he said. “This is the best board I’ve ever been on, the best people I’ve ever served with, and I think the hospital is in an amazing state right now.”

In his time on the commission, King, a physical therapist, saw the hospital rocked as it changed administrations more than once. And he chaired the board through its most tumultuous time in recent years, when the board had to decide whether to give the OK to build a new hospital and incur huge debt, even before financing was secured through state and federal agencies in a pioneering arrangement that required a change in state law.

The new hospital, his longtime vision, opened in January 2011.

Wednesday, King said only that he had reached a point at which he needed to simplify his life and that he would resign after the meeting.

“I don’t want to be that guy … that had a heart attack because he didn’t take care of himself,” he said.

“I want to thank you, Rick, for the great commissioner that you’ve been and the great board chair that you’ve been,” Coulee Medical Center Chief Executive Officer J. Scott Graham said. “I’ve worked with a lot of board members in the past and I rank you right up there at the top.”

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