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
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
“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.