The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Hospital CEO to retire

 

Courtesy photo

Larry Cohen, MSHSM, Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics.

Larry Cohen, MSHSM, Chief Executive Officer, Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics (OBHMC) made public this week his plans to retire effective July 29. His retirement marks the end of a 40-plus-year career in healthcare leadership and nearly a decade of service to the communities of south Pacific County.

"Larry's passion, intelligence, hard work, and expertise in healthcare management have strengthened all aspects of Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics," said Nancy Gorshe, chairperson of the board, OBHMC. "He has secured a brilliant future for OBHMC and for the individuals it serves so that they can continue to get high-quality medical care close to home."

Gorshe and the other board members of OBHMC have narrowed the search for Cohen's replacement and anticipate making an announcement in June.

Cohen plans to work with the incoming chief executive for the six-week overlap, which they will have up until his retirement date, to further secure a smooth transition.

"Supporting patient safety and the delivery of quality care have been my over arching goals," said Cohen. "To achieve them, Ocean Beach Hospital and Medical Clinics has been returned to financial health and is prepared to make advancements to best serve the health care needs of our constituents."

Cohen joined OBHMC in July 2015 as the chief operating officer and, shortly after that, he was made interim CEO. In August, 2016, Cohen was named CEO/Superintendent. Key successes under his leadership have included the following:

--Developed and implemented a plan to make healthcare more easily available to those it serves, including opening a clinic in Ocean Park, moving the clinic in Naselle to a new and bigger site, and opening the Wellness and Rehabilitation Center in Ilwaco;

--Secured three loans amounting to $3.2 million, $1.0 million, and $1.091 million for IT systems and capital improvements;

--Successfully navigated OBHMC's response as well as financial and staff stability through the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic including the delivery of over 18,000 Covid-19 vaccine shots.

Cohen is also developing plans for a $10-million public bond that will be used to more than double the size of the Ilwaco Clinic site, add a dedicated immediate-care clinic, increase much-needed parking capacity, refurbish the hospital's nursing unit to include an expansion of the current nursing station that improves staff access, flow and spacing, expand the pharmacy to allow for formulary changes and the adding of pharmacy staff, and renovate all the patient rooms to improve the patient experience.

The hospital's infrastructure will also be addressed to make it more energy efficient; new air handlers, an upgraded boiler, a new elevator, and four solar arrays will lower OBHMC's utility costs as well as its carbon footprint.

 

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