We are pleased to see the Pioneers Memorial Hospital board has hired a permanent chief executive officer who appears qualified for the job.
Richard Mendoza, 52, of El Paso has worked 30 years in hospital administration and based on our interview with him he seems as if he could have a positive effect on Pioneers.
Still, as one board member put it, we will not know what Mendoza can do for the hospital until he gets to work. It will take him time to acquaint himself with hospital operations, but he brings the kind of experience that likely will make it easy for him to delve into Pioneers' issues quickly.
Mendoza takes the position at an interesting time. While the board has a contract with Brim Healthcare Inc. to manage Pioneers for five years, the first year of that contract ends in June. After that time, the board can break the contact without cause. Getting rid of Brim would likely mean getting rid of Mendoza, a Brim employee.