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NIHD Board elevates Stephen DelRossi to permanent CEO, welcomes David McCoy Barrett

  • Category: NIHD News
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  • Written By: Barbara Laughon
NIHD Board elevates Stephen DelRossi to permanent CEO, welcomes David McCoy Barrett

David McCoy Barrett takes the oath of office as he is sworn into the Northern Inyo Health Care District Board of Directors. Barrett was appointed to represent Zone I last month, following the resignation of Jody Veenker. Swearing him in is NIHD’s Chief Nursing Officer/Chief Operations Officer Allison Partridge.Photo by Barbara Laughon/Northern Inyo Healthcare District

An indicator that Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s future is brighter, the Board of Directors elevated Interim Chief Executive Officer Stephen DelRossi to serve as NIHD’s permanent CEO during the Nov. 15 monthly meeting. The Board also saw David McCoy Barrett officially sworn in as the newly appointed Zone 1 representative.

Selected from a pool of six candidates, one of the largest in recent memory, Barrett is a prolific television and film director who chose his hometown as his permanent home. Barrett holds 200-plus credits on more than 40 hit television shows, including Blue Bloods and Star Trek: Discovery.

“I’ve done a lot of traveling with my work, and I have to say that no place seems as special to me as the Eastern Sierra does,” Barrett said. “I was born at Northern Inyo Hospital, I’ve had treatment at Northern Inyo Hospital, and I just wanted to be able to step forward and give something back to the District, especially in the challenging times it faces.”

Barrett represents the area of West Bishop from South Barlow west to the communities of Redhill, Rocking K, Starlite, and Aspendell. His zone also encompasses areas along U.S. 395 north, including Round Valley, Mustang Mesa, Lower Rock Creek, and the Gorge area, as well as the region south of Bishop to Big Pine and out to Nevada.

Barrett’s Sierra roots are deep. The grandson of Mammoth Mountain Ski Area founders Dave and Roma McCoy, he is the son of Penny McCoy Boothe and Stan Barrett. He has previously served on the Board of the Mammoth Foundation.

He will serve on the NIHD Board until next November. At that time, he and fellow Director Ted Gardner of Zone III (downtown Bishop) will stand for election if they choose to continue in service. Board Chair Mary Mae Kilpatrick of Zone IV will be up for re-election at the same time. Jean Turner of Zone II (north Bishop) and Melissa Best-Baker of Zone V (Big Pine) will face re-election in 2026 if they so choose.

As for the elevation of DelRossi, the move keeps DelRossi’s dual role as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer intact while the District begins recruiting for a permanent Chief Financial Officer. Under his new three-year contract, the veteran healthcare executive will receive annual compensation totaling $400,000 per year with the same benefits as all District employees. The contract also calls for awarding DelRossi three months’ compensation if the District severs ties without cause, a standard clause in most healthcare CEO agreements.

DelRossi has served the District for 15 months, first as Chief Financial Officer, alerting the District to what would have been its impending bankruptcy. He then took on the dual roles when named interim CEO last June. In that time, DelRossi led the District’s executive team, its directors and managers, physicians, and employees on a mission to “right-size” the District.

The journey has been challenging, requiring a tightening of expenses, reductions in the workforce, and finding ways to increase patient volumes. DelRossi has also rebuilt a broken revenue cycle. Where bankruptcy once was imminent, DelRossi now feels the District is on more secure ground.

Board Chair Mary Mae Kilpatrick lauds DelRossi for leading the NIHD team during these trying times. “The Board is certainly delighted with the progress under Stephen,” Kilpatrick said. “Each month, it feels like we are taking another step in the right direction, assuring longevity with thoughtful, tempered growth within some of our service lines. With the support of our employees, physicians, and most importantly, our community, I think we all see NIHD living to fight another day.”

Kilpatrick admits there is still work ahead. “When I think back to where we were a year ago and where we could have ended up, I shudder,” Kilpatrick says. “Our communities need this healthcare facility. There is a reason why our community fought so hard to establish this District in 1946. They knew then how important rural healthcare would be to our future and to us. We must keep working towards a better tomorrow and serving our patients well. It’s really that simple.”