Father's Health Will Delay New Hospital CEO's Arrival

Linda Simmons was expected to assume her new duties as CEO of Humboldt General Hospital in May, but a severe decline in her father’s health has placed those plans on hold.

“I am looking forward to coming to Humboldt General Hospital,” Simmons wrote hospital trustees in an email earlier this week. “Unfortunately, the health of my elderly father has unexpectedly and quickly deteriorated. The prognosis is uncertain, but at this time moving him is not an option and, since I am his primary caregiver, it is essential I remain with him for the time he has remaining.”

Simmons told trustees she did not know how long her start date would be delayed due to the uncertainty of her father’s status; however, she hopes to provide trustees with a “better perspective of his health status” in the coming weeks.

During Tuesday’s hospital board meeting, trustees said they felt comfortable with Simmons’ plans. The group is hopeful Simmons will be able to take up full-time duties at HGH sooner rather than later; until then, they expressed support for Simmons in her decision to put her father’s well-being first.

Chairman JoAnn Casalez commented after, “Linda is doing the right thing by caring for her father; that’s the kind of person we want: someone who is focused first on caring for those in need.”

Until her arrival in Winnemucca, Simmons said she will remain in regular contact with HGH Interim Administrator Darlene Bryan and other senior administration staff.

“I have full confidence in the people who are leading the organization at the present and I plan to be available for consultation and guidance as necessary,” she wrote trustees.

Bryan said Simmons was very supportive during the hospital’s recent budget meetings with staff members. Simmons is also expected to weigh in during a board budget meeting in May.

“Her experience and knowledge has been invaluable in so many areas such as financial matters and recruitment opportunities we are considering,” said Bryan. “I am expecting she will continue to be a source of help as we continue to move forward.”

In February, the Humboldt County Hospital District Board of Trustees voted 5 to 1 to offer Simmons the CEO position.

Simmons, a registered nurse, holds master’s degrees in science and business administration. Additionally, she is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Simmons said she knew she wanted to be a nurse ever since she was a little girl. She indicated over and over again in meetings and in her final interview that her “true passion” is patient care and that would be her focus as CEO along with staff, physician and community engagement.

Simmons has served as the President and CEO of Decatur County Memorial Hospital in Greensburg, Indiana, for the past six years. She said her husband will accompany her to Winnemucca along with her labradoodle.