Jim Gambill receives N.C. Hospital Association Trustee Service Award

May 5, 2014

Jim Gambill, Past Board Chairman of Ashe Memorial Hospital in Jefferson, has received the North Carolina Hospital Association’s Trustee Service Award for 2014.

NCHA is statewide trade association representing more than 130 hospitals and health systems. The association promotes improved delivery of quality and affordable health care through leadership, information, education and advocacy in members’ interests and for public benefit.

Gambill was one of two hospital trustees honored at NCHA’s annual Trustee Institute April 26. The Trustee Service Award recognizes trustees who have made significant and unique contributions to their hospitals and the communities they serve.

“Hospital trustees are faced with a special set of challenges and demands unique to their local communities,” said William A. Pully, NCHA president. “They deserve statewide recognition for their leadership and dedication to the changing healthcare delivery system.”

Gambill, a retired oil company president and a retired Lt. Colonel in the National Guard, has provided excellent leadership as the Chairman of the Board of Ashe Memorial Hospital from 2009 to 2013. He has led AMH and the board during some very difficult economic times in Ashe County.

Ashe County continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates in North Carolina and has lost several companies over the past few years to consolidation outside of the state and country.

Gambill has been a strong voice in the community, reinforcing the need to support its local hospital. He has worked diligently with AMH’s management group to improve the hospital’s perception and financial position.

He felt very strongly about the board being more than a group that met monthly and voted on the items presented at that time; instead, he felt the board needed to be proactive in helping the hospital navigate through the changing environment of healthcare.

Gambill wanted his trustees to be part of the solution. Under his leadership, the hospital received many accolades including: The Most Wired Hospital in 2012, Top 100 Critical Access Hospital in 2013 and Rural Hospital of the Year in 2006.

He also recognized the hospital needed to make a change and partner with a large hospital system in order to ensure that the only hospital in Ashe County would be viable for the future. He guided the community, board of trustees and employees into a management agreement with Novant Health.

This was no small feat as the previous management company had been associated with the hospital for 31 years. There was considerable opposition to make a change, but because of Gambill’s leadership ability and his dedication to his community hospital, AMH partnered with Novant in August 2013.