Administrator Ed Epperson became Carson-Tahoe Hospital's new chief executive officer on Thursday by unanimous vote of the hospital's Board of Trustees.
He will assume his duties July 22, and Steve Smith will become chief executive officer emeritus until his retirement Dec. 31. The positions pay $158,000 annually.
Originally from Fresno, Calif., Epperson received his doctorate in pharmacy from the University of the Pacific in Stockton, Calif., in 1974. After a career in pharmacy, he returned to the University of San Franciso in California for his master's degree in health administration.
He came to Carson-Tahoe from Watsonville, Calif., where he was administrator of the Community Hospital in nearby Santa Cruz, Calif. He's worked as an administrator at Carson-Tahoe for seven and a half years and has two sons, Jeff, 19 and Matt, 16 , with his wife, Denise.
Smith, 53, has been chief executive officer since 1991, during which Carson-Tahoe Hospital has grown from 116 to 158 beds. The average number of patients per day has doubled from 45 to 90 and his responsibilites included 950 employees and an $80 million budget.
A hospital administrator for 25 years, Smith said he wanted to quit while he still has something to give. The death of two friends this year, one to a heart attack, led him to the conclusion that he should spend more time with his family before it's too late .
For the first two years of retirement, he said, he plans on "doing nothing." But he also said he doesn't think he can give up hospital work altogether and will eventually try his hand at consulting.
Smith will receive health insurance from Carson-Tahoe Hospital through 2002, unless he is hired by another company.
If the hospital board terminates his contract prior to the end of this calendar year, he will be entitled to the original severance pay agreement. In December, Smith's performance will be reviewed to determine if he should receive a bonus.