ALAMEDA -- The directors of the Alameda Health Care District, which oversees Alameda Hospital, will appoint someone Jan. 28 to serve out the term of Stewart Chen, who stepped down from the district's board after he was elected to the City Council.

As of Wednesday two individuals had applied for the seat, said Kristen Thorson, the district clerk. The deadline to apply was 5 p.m. Thursday.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for individuals who don't primarily think of themselves as politicians or political actors to participate in this kind of service without having to mobilize and run a formal campaign," board President Jordan Battani said Dec. 5, when the board reviewed the application process and the timeline for appointing Chen's replacement.

Chen came in third behind Marilyn Ezzy Ashcraft and Tony Daysog in the race for the two open City Council seats in November. But Chen still secured a spot on the council after Vice Mayor Rob Bonta's seat became vacant when he was elected to the state Assembly.

Battani and J. Michael McCormick won the two open seats on the health district board during the election. Tracy Jensen, a former trustee with the Alameda Unified School District, came in third.

State law requires the directors to fill any vacancy on the board within 60 days. Chen's resignation became effective Dec. 18, although his term will end in November 2014.

The district will host an "applicant conference" on Jan. 23 as a way for the candidates to learn more about Alameda Hospital and how the board works.


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Directors plan to interview the candidates and appoint Chen's replacement during the open session at their Jan. 28 meeting.

Candidates must provide a resume, references and explain why they are seeking the seat, how they view the board's role compared to the management of an organization, describe a unique value they would bring to the board and offer a vision of the hospital's future.

Candidates must live and vote in the district, not have been suspended or expelled from Medicare and not have been convicted of a felony. They also must undergo a background check and indicate any possible conflicts of interest.

The goal is to appoint someone before the Feb. 6 board meeting.

The most pressing issue facing the board is dealing with the hospital's troubled finances. An internal report showed the facility lost about $1.9 million during the last fiscal year -- $600,000 more than expected -- despite the hospital district bringing in more than $6 million in parcel tax revenue.

Bridging the gap is key to the hospital's future because many Island residents say it will be needed for emergency care in the event that an earthquake or other major disaster cuts them off from facilities in neighboring cities.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty/.

IF YOU GO
The board of the Alameda Health Care District will meet at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 28 in the William Dal Cielo Conference Room at Alameda Hospital, 2070 Clinton Ave.