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Williams takes oath, joins hospital board

GTNS photo by David Hotle

Washington County Hospital Board President Keith Lazar, left, gives the oath of office to Ann WIlliams, who will be filling a seat on the board left vacant by Dr. Jim Harris. Williams ran for the board during the Nov. 6 election and will be sworn in again during the first board meeting of 2019, along with Sue Basten who was also elected to fill a vacant spot.
GTNS photo by David Hotle Washington County Hospital Board President Keith Lazar, left, gives the oath of office to Ann WIlliams, who will be filling a seat on the board left vacant by Dr. Jim Harris. Williams ran for the board during the Nov. 6 election and will be sworn in again during the first board meeting of 2019, along with Sue Basten who was also elected to fill a vacant spot.

Ann Williams on Thursday raised her right hand to take the oath of office as a Washington County Hospital and Clinics trustee — for two meetings.

Having been selected to fill a vacancy on the board left when Dr. Jim Harris died, Williams and Sue Basten ran for two vacant trustee seats during the Nov. 6 election. According to the law, the person who received the highest number of votes is to be sworn in to finish the term, which ends Dec. 31. In January 2019 Williams and Basten will be sworn in at the first meeting of the month to fill the seats they were elected to.

“I feel very good the community has the faith in me to step into this role,” Williams said. “It is also with a sad heart because Jim Harris was a very special person to all of us and it would have been an honor to have worked beside him. I’m excited because Washington is home to all of my family and so giving back to the community and the hospital is important.”

She said she is excited to work with the board, feeling they will be able to further the goals of the hospital.

Board President Keith Lazar administered the oath of office. He said Harris’ seat had been vacant and the board had planned to appoint someone to the seat. According to the law, if someone is running for a seat, the board has to appoint the person who receives the most votes. He said some board members had reached out to people in Kalona to fill the vacant seat, but no one from that area had been interested.

“It used to be the term was six years,” Lazar said. “Now that the term has changed, it is four years.”

Board member Phyllis Litwiller is the trustee leaving in January. After serving six years on the board, she feels it is time for her to pursue other interests. Basten will take over her place on the board.

“I’m from Kalona and I felt it would be good to have that area represented,” Litwiller said, regarding her reasons for running for the board. “I have a background in nursing and I thought I would be able to help. The last six years have been great. We have had changes in administrators. We have had improvements in nursing care. We have done a lot.”