MARATHON -- Barbara Wright has been named to the Fishermen's Hospital Board of Trustees.
She replaces Ginger Snead who resigned in early August after a flurry of accusations that she used information gleaned from the position to further her own business interests, accusations that Snead vigorously denies.
Wright, a former educator, was most recently the principal of Stanley Switlik Elementary School in Marathon. She was employed by the Monroe County School District for 35 years and held a number of high-ranking positions at schools throughout the Florida Keys.
"We are honored and grateful that Barbara Wright has accepted our invitation to join the hospital's Board of Trustees," said Michael Cunningham, board president. "Her commitment to the community is unwavering and she will be a great addition to the board with her proven and outstanding leadership abilities."
To date, the board has agreed informally to Wright's appointment. Cunningham said it will do so formally at its next meeting on Monday, Aug. 27.
Wright will join the six other trustees: Cunningham, CEO of Keys AHEC; Vice President Daniel Samess, executive director of the Marathon Chamber of Commerce; Treasurer Peter Chapman, co-owner of Chapman Cardwell Asset Management; member David Kirwan, attorney; member Jeff Coldren, owner of Sunshine Quality Roofing; and member Richard Malafy, attorney. Those meetings are closed to the public; however, members of the community may request an audience with the board.
With Snead, a physical therapist and Marathon councilwoman, gone, Cunningham is the only trustee with any direct employment experience related to the health-care industry. Cunningham said it's immaterial.
"Each person [on the board] has a different skill set. I have a health-care background and David Kirwin served two decades on the original hospital board. We've got financial and legal expertise. A good board has diverse experience," Cunningham said, adding that the hospital Chief of Staff Harlan Petitt, M.D., serves as an ex-officio, or non-voting, board member.
This is the second time in two years that the Fishermen's Hospital Board of Trustees has undergone change. In 2010, the trustees went from 17 strong to just six members. At the time, it was described as a necessary move from an oversight board to a management-type board in preparation for signing with the new management company, Quorum Health Resources, after the hospital's lease with Health Management Associates expired in 2011.