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The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Pullman Regional Hospital appoints new board of commissioners member

Cheryl Oliver of Carson College to serve on board until at least December
Pullman Regional Hospital has appointed a new board of commissioners member after a two month vacancy of the seat

A member of WSU’s staff has been appointed to fill the vacancy on the Pullman Regional Hospital Board of Commissioners.

Alison Weigley, director of external relations for Pullman Regional Hospital, said the previous person to serve in that seat, Dr. C. Michael Murphy, retired on May 4 after serving on the board for 23 years

Cheryl Oliver, associate dean for professional programs for the Carson College of Business, said she was appointed to the board on July 19. Her term expires in December and will be up for election to a full six-year term in November.

“There were several people who applied for the seat. Each person interviewed and then the board made a recommendation to appoint Cheryl and that was voted into action,” Weigley said.

Oliver said the hospital district put out an announcement that they were looking for someone to fill the position on the board. Around five people initially expressed interest and applied or were interviewed, she said.

Joe Pitzer, member of the board of commissioners, said in a press release that Oliver’s awareness and understanding of the hospital’s plans, roots in the community and concern for its well-being make her a good candidate for the position.

“Her connections in business locally and nationally provide great bridge-building opportunities for the hospital and with the WSU community,” Pitzer said.

Oliver said she began her professional career as an elementary school teacher, eventually working for central administration for WSU in admissions and later on working in the College of Business in the office of graduate programs.

“Over 20 years to the degree that I am now the associate dean for professional programs,” Oliver said. “Being a commissioner is a volunteer outside of your day job, so it’s really an appointment saying, ‘I’m willing to give up my free time over the course of six years, to attend the meetings, to support the hospital, to give advice when I can and to champion them in my personal time.’”

Before serving on the board of commissioners, Oliver had been volunteering for the hospital as a member of the board for the women’s leadership guild. A few issues she said matter the most to her include providing health and education for all.

Oliver said she was interested in one day seeking a seat on the board of commissioners but did not anticipate the opportunity would present itself so soon.

“It was something I thought I might do later in life knowing that many of the members have been in these appointments for significant periods of time,” she said. “When I did learn about it I jumped on it with more interest than I thought I would at this point in time.”

Oliver said her first meeting as a member of the board of commissioners will be on Aug. 2. As a member of the board, one of her main goals will be to support the hospital in its planned expansion.

Members of the board of commissioners do not direct how the hospital is run or what medical activities take place, Oliver said. The main role for those serving on the board is to try to support them if they need anything in their decision-making and in operating the hospital.

“One of the things we will be working on collectively is supporting the hospital in expanding so it will continue to meet the news in this region,” she said. “The hospital also has a focus on what we call patient-led healthcare, meaning the patient is also a decision maker in the process and providing the highest quality healthcare we’re capable of providing in this community.”

In order to be an eligible candidate for the board of commissioners, members have to be a registered voter and have to live within the hospital district, which is Pullman city limits, Weigley said. They also cannot be an employee of the hospital.

When community members have questions about the hospital or our services they can reach out to our commissioners and make those relationships,” Weigley said.

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About the Contributor
JOSIAH PIKE, Evergreen news co-editor
Josiah is a sophomore broadcast journalism and broadcast production double major. He is from Lakewood, Washington and began working for the Evergreen in Fall 2021.