Nakamura, 64, came on board in mid-May as interim CEO of the health district. He was one of 50 applicants to put his hat in the ring for the permanent position. The field was narrowed to 17 by a subcommittee, and then the board interviewed the top three candidates based on work experience, years in the health industry and education.
Anne Stokman, the president of the health care board, said she looked forward to working with Nakamura in the long term.
“We had three very qualified people,” Stokman said. “It was a unanimous choice to have Richard as our permanent CEO. He possesses both the health care and financial experience we’ve been looking for.
“He has done an excellent job as interim CEO, and we look forward to him taking us into the future.”
Board Vice President Harold Hill said he was impressed by all the CEO finalists.
“I felt that any of them would have been successful in the position, but Richard has demonstrated a fast grasp of the position,” Hill said.
Nakamura takes the place of Chad Vargas, who held the position for 10 months before moving to Southern California in May. Nakamura has served in assistant controller and controller roles in both big-city and rural health centers and hospitals during the past 35 years.
Nakamura said it was a great honor to become CEO of the health district.
Nakamura and the board are seeking to provide more medical services to West Side residents at the newly remodeled Del Puerto Health Center, which opened in early March on Keystone Pacific Boulevard. With 11,000 square feet of space, the board wants to attract specialists in dialysis and dentistry, in addition to the family-practice doctors who are already there.
“With the opening of our new clinic, I will be working to enhance our basic practice for family primary care and pediatric services with other specialty services which the public is in need of, such as cardiology, X-ray, dialysis, mental counseling, dermatology, rheumatology, diabetes education,” Nakamura said.
Del Puerto Health Care District, founded in 1998 after Del Puerto Hospital closed, provides health care services to residents on the West Side of Stanislaus County through Del Puerto Health Center and Patterson District Ambulance Co, which it runs.
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