Dodd sets sight on physicians, tower as new Tulare hospital CEO

Randy Dodd accepts position as the Tulare Hospital Districts Chief Executive Officer, brings a career of healthcare management knowledge to the position

TULARE – After the Tulare Local Healthcare District struggled with management for several years, they have appointed Randy Dodd who has a passion for bringing Tulare back up to speed.

On Feb. 23, the Tulare Local Healthcare District Board of Directors appointed Dodd as the district’s new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) following a public recruitment and interview process. In 2018 Dodd served as president of Adventist Health-Tulare, and according to a release from the Tulare Hospital District, he was largely responsible for reopening the hospital in record time.

Since December 2022 Dodd has been serving as the district’s interim. He said an area he hopes to focus on is finding ways to bring in more full time physicians for the community.  He said he is excited for his new journey and plans to do everything he can for the community.

“I’m really excited to be here. My criteria for continuing to work was to find meaningful work and something that I can make a difference in and I think I found that in this role,” Dodd said.

As Dodd begins his journey, he said a gap that needs to be filled for this particular community is the need for physicians. Dodd said the community needs both family medicine physicians as well as specialists that will practice full-time in the area. Even though Dodd is still in the process of learning the full extent of the organization, his previous experience in the community and in the Valley, allows him the ability to see different areas of improvement. As he learns all the ins and outs Dodd said he will help find different ways to bring in more medical professionals.

Photo by Rigo Moran

“[We will do] whatever we can do to help support the [lack of full time physicians],” Dodd said. “That could be us building medical office buildings, it could be helping with the recruitment process, there’s a number of things that we could potentially do to that end of getting more doctors here.”

Dodd said his first and foremost goal is to get a better grasp on the organization and its financials. However even without the full grasp, he does see the importance the hospital tower carries and plans to finish the build as soon as possible. The tower has been a large issue in the community for some time and has now been funded partially through general obligation bonds according to Dodd. That is one main motivation for Dodd to complete that project. This weekend, the hospital board is meeting for a planning session that will explain the district and discuss any questions Dodd may have.

“[My goals] really depend upon the desires of the board, the financial wherewithal of the district, looking at obligations that we have already in place and things that we need to put in place,” Dodd said. “But I would say, … the number one priority is to get that tower finished.”

Dodd has a Bachelor’s degree in business economics from the University of California Santa Barbara and Master’s degree in organizational leadership from National University. After ending his 25 year career with Adventist Health in 2020, he moved to opening the new Bakersfield Rehabilitation Hospital “from the ground up” as the CEO.

Dodd said his previous experiences will serve him well in his new role. He said he is in a unique spot for multiple reasons. He is familiar with the community from previously serving as the president of Adventist Health-Tulare, and he knows quite a bit about Adventast Health after working there for 25 years.

“I think the position I hold right now puts me in a nice spot to kind of hit the ground running,” Dodd said. “I already understand the market, I understand the players, now I have to spend our time on us focusing on what the future forecasts look like for our availability of resources to do things that make a difference.”

As the Tulare Hospital District is still recovering in the eyes of the community from issues in the past, Dodd said the board has done a good job of proving to the community that they are trustworthy. He said once the tower is completed, the community will see an additional productivity and understand a changing of the times.

“Unfortunately, it was a management issue and they had poor leaders in certain areas that didn’t do the things that they were supposed to be doing to fulfill the promises made to the community,” Dodd said. “I think this board has a very high level of integrity and honesty, and is focused on making sure they do the right things. And I share those ideals.”

Dodd’s appointment is subject to finalization of his compensation package by the Board, but board members have welcomed him with open arms.

District Board vice-president Mike Jamaica said via a statement from the district that Dodd brings a unique knowledge and experience about Adventist Health and the medical facilities and needs in Tulare. And the board’s newest member Jevon Price said that Dodd has already proved his worth to the community.

“He already is proving his worth by implementing better administrative systems and developing proposals to bring more doctors to Tulare and complete the unfinished, but state-of-the-art tower,” Price said. “We are paying more than in the past because his value is well worth it.”

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