The Wallowa County Health Care District board voted unanimously to retain the services of Wallowa Memorial Hospital Chief Executive Officer Larry Davy at its June 22 meeting. This is a renewal of Davy’s previous contract.
Davy has twice been selected to serve as WMH’s CEO. He started his medical career on the WMH nursing staff in the 1980s when he was fresh out of Walla Walla University, worked his way his way up to director of nursing, and became the hospital’s CEO in 2001, departing for a CEO job for Adventist Health (associated with the Seventh Day Adventist church) in Tillamook in 2007. He returned to WMH in 2013.
Davy said he spent nearly 22 years of his medical career with Adventist Health between stints at Portland and Tillamook. “I loved my time at Adventist Health, but we have kids and grandkids in this region, and it was time to be more available for them, and that’s what brought me back,” Davy said.
Davy’s desire to return to the region just happened to coincide with the departure of previous CEO, Dave Harman. “It was about then that Enterprise called and asked if I’d be interested in coming back, and it fit,” Davy said.
Originally planning to retire to this area anyway, Davy had kept his house, which made the move especially easy. “Now we’re close to the kids and grandkids, and we have parents here as well,” Davy said.
Among the highlights of Davy’s tenure as CEO, he counts getting the old hospital’s debt paid off and getting the hospital back on track financially. “We could have easily lost the hospital. Of course it wasn’t just me, but building the new hospital really helped solidify health care here for generations,” Davy said. He credits the hospital staff for its ability to adjust to the rapid changes in health care, keeping pace with these to provide a solid foundation in the county’s health care.
“I can’t take sole credit for any of it, but I got to be in this office when it happened,” Davy said.
WCHCD Board chairman, Nick Lunde, said the board had no qualms about extending Davy’s contract. “We’re lucky to have Larry. He’s done a great job as CEO of this hospital. We couldn’t be more pleased he’s staying with us.”
As for Davy, he’s looking forward to the future. “I enjoy my job. Health care is always changing and presenting new challenges. I look forward to meeting them with our staff,” he said.