Tulare hospital board appoints Harrell replacement

Phillip Smith unanimously elected to serve remainder of former board member Steve Harrell’s term

TULARE – After Steve Harrell decided to leave his seat on the hospital board in favor of the Tulare City Council, the dais has been missing one member. Last week, the Tulare Local Healthcare District Board announced they’ve filled the void.

During their regular April meeting Tulare Local Healthcare District Board of Director voted unanimously to appoint Philip Smith to Harrell’s seat. Smith has been in the financial industry for 35 years, with a primary focus on commercial and construction financing; during which time he developed significant expertise and experience in the review and management of requests for proposals, contracts, funds disbursements and project reports. Smith’s community involvement includes positions with the Tulare Chamber of Commerce and Tulare Rotary Club and service as a member of the Public Utilities Commission.

“We appreciate Phillip’s commitment to serving his community on the…board and look forward to working with him as we continue to rebuild and meet the growing needs for medical care within the District,” President of the District’s Board Kevin Northcraft said. “The timing on Philip’s appointment is key as the District, through its Tower Construction Committee, begins the important work of moving towards the long awaited completion of the medical tower.”.

Smith will serve the remaining two years of a four-year term before his seat will become available again for an elected candidate in November of 2023. The inaugural meeting of the Tower Construction Committee, on which Smith will serve as one of two appointed directors for the district along with five additional community members, was also held in April.

After a review of the tower project’s history, status and steps needed for construction completion, the committee elected Smith as chair and Linda Crase as vice chair. The committee requested district staff to move forward in preparing a request for proposals for appointment of an architect of record for the project. The committee also appointed liaisons from their membership who are empowered to work with partners on this project: Rick Albert and Ross Gentry, who will be responsible for taking the lead with Grant Management Associations; Crase and John Atilano, who will work with the Tulare Hospital Foundation; and Mike Shaffer and Northcraft, who will be communicating with Adventist Health Central Valley Network and Adventist Health Tulare.

The Tower Construction Committee will meet the second Tuesday of each month, and the public is strongly encouraged to attend.

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