Brian Almquist

A History of Helping

ACH Foundation_019_Hi_BrianBrian Almquist retired from the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation board in December after 12 years of service and was just named an emeritus board member.

However, the four separate terms he served as a board member since 1999 are just the latest chapter in decades of work Brian has done to help keep Ashland’s community hospital thriving.

Brian came to Ashland as city manager in August 1970. The hospital was then a city department, and the new city manager quickly committed to helping it thrive.

He worked closely with five hospital administrators, four of whom were also city employees, and in 1996 helped guide the city’s process to privatize the hospital. Then-mayor Cathy Shaw, hospital administrator Jim Watson and Brian worked out a plan to create a new nonprofit corporation that would lease and operate the hospital. The arrangement helped the hospital compete in the marketplace and work collaboratively with other area hospital partners, while freeing it from the political realities of operating as a city department, Brian explains.

After 28 years as Ashland’s city manager, Brian retired in 1998, joining the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation board the next year.

Sandra Slattery, Executive Director of the Ashland Chamber of Commerce who has known and worked closely with Brian for 35 years, said she was pleased to see him dedicate his time in retirement to the hospital and foundation.

“He had an intricate knowledge of the workings of the hospital and he had a personal commitment to keeping it in Ashland,” she says. “He had all this experience as an administrator and he was taking that expertise to move the Foundation forward.”

Brian speaks proudly of the partnerships that have developed among the hospital, its foundation, school districts, the Chamber of Commerce, Southern Oregon University and other organizations.

“We’re fortunate to have wonderful people in so many agencies doing things together,” he says. “These partnerships have been very important to Ashland’s success.”

Brian has served on the Foundation’s real estate, finance, strategic planning, and most recently the asset management committee as the hospital negotiated a new affiliation with Asante. In 2009, he received the Meese Award for Outstanding Board Service and in 2010 the Distinguished Service Award for service to the community through the Hospital and the Foundation.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with this incredible board,” Brian says. “They are ambassadors for the hospital, spreading the message about the hospital and its future.”

And as someone who has been a part of the history of the hospital and the Foundation, he’s confident that our hospital’s future is secure and bright.