Local News

Grasmeder to leave top SEARHC hospital post

Marty_GrasmederThe head of Mt. Edgecumbe Hospital in Sitka is resigning.

Dr. Marty Grasmeder has been both hospital administrator at SEARHC in Sitka, and the facility’s medical director for the last several years.

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Grasmeder is a pediatrician. He’s been with SEARHC for 19 years. Dan Neumister is chief operating officer for SEARHC in Sitka. He says Grasmeder’s resignation is unrelated to some of the organization’s very public financial struggles over the past year.

“I take Marty for an honorable man. He shared with me very specifically the reason that he’s leaving was not about the challenges or the opportunities being presented to SEARHC right now. It was really a personal family decision about what was best for not only himself, but also his wife and his child.”

Grasmeder has accepted a position as the Medical Director of the Multnomah County Health Department in Portland, Oregon. He is currently on vacation, and did not return KCAW’s calls for comment.

Neumister himself is a product of recent turnover at SEARHC. In April, he replaced former COO Susan Labus who had only been on the job for a year and a half. That move came on the heels of the closure of SEARHC’s Bill Brady Healing Center in March, and an announcement from SEARCH president and CEO Chuck Clement near the beginning of 2012 that the organization faced a $4-million budget shortfall.

Neumister says the organization is going to use the opportunity created by Grasmeder’s departure to examine staffing in upper management.

“What we’re trying to do at SEARHC is look at how we are structured, and are there ways to do things a little bit more efficiently, without having two or three people doing the same job.”

Neumister says he expects the SEARHC medical director position will remain in Sitka — but that could change.

SEARHC’s medical operations will be overseen in Sitka by assistant medical director Dr. John Baciocco, and in Juneau by Dr. Janice Sheufeldt.

Grasmeder will remain in his post through the month of September. Noel Selle-Rea, who most recently was the CEO of the Wrangell Medical Center will serve as interim administrator in Grasmeder’s absence.

Selle-Rea might be familiar to some Southeast listeners. He made headlines in Wrangell during a protracted legal dispute with the city. KSTK reporter Shady Grove Oliver has some of the background:

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Selle-Rea is currently working as a consultant in Anchorage. Neumister says he’ll likely live and work in Sitka three weeks out of every four.


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