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Articles / 2011

Ojai Hospital gets new CAO

Haady Lashkari promoted to oversee master plan upgrades

Ojai Valley News
Wednesday, 01/19/2011
By Chris T. Wilson

With just a handful of months to go until his 10-year anniversary with the Community Memorial Health System, Haady Lashkari has just accepted a promotion and is moving into his new office at the Ojai Valley Community Hospital.

Formerly the assistant vice president within CMHS, Lashkari has now been named chief administrative officer at Ojai Valley Community Hospital and will begin implementing a five-year master plan to overhaul and modernize Ojai's 50-year-old hospital.

Lashkari praised the local community and the Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation and Guild whose members and fund-raising efforts have helped to make Ojai's hospital one of few small rural hospitals that remains open and that operates in the black. Generous local residents and business owners and the OVCHF's continued support of the local not-for-profit health system, demonstrate the importance Ojai places on the health and well-being of the community, he said. "I feel very fortunate and grateful," Lashkari said. "The Ojai Hospital is very lucky to have the foundation and guild offering so much support. I'm really looking forward to getting more involved with the Ojai community and working closely with the physicians and staff in Ojai."

As a first order of business after getting moved into his new office, over the coming few months Lashkari will be finalizing the elements and details of the $8- to $10-million master plan, he said. The plan will include a relocation of the CT scan facilities, modernization to the acute care facilities, statemandated seismic upgrades, an expansion to the outpatient program and various aesthetic upgrades, he said. And although there was one baby born at OVCH in late 2005 when severe flooding blocked roadways in and out of Ojai, there are no immediate plans to offer obstetrics or maternity services in Ojai. Storks are currently under strict orders from CMHS to only drop swaddling bundles of joy in Ventura.

CMH administrator Mike Ellingson added that it was a combination of tenure, skills and qualifications that opened the doors of opportunity for Lashkari at the Ojai facility. And at a time when around 50 percent of hospitals are losing money, it's rare to have a hospital like the one in Ojai that can operate in the black and handle the health needs of the community. Ojai Valley Community Hospital merged into the CMHS in May 2005.

"Community Memorial Hospital is like a sister hospital to the Ojai Hospital," Ellingson said. "The beauty of it is if there is an emergent need, Ojai can handle it. And if there is a higher level of acuity, Community Memorial is nearby."

Gary Wilde, president and CEO of CMHS, added, "We are delighted to bring someone of Mr. Lashkari's enthusiasm and expertise to the Ojai campus. He is well respected among the Ojai staff, and will provide the right leadership for this important position."

Lashkari noted that he is a native of Ventura and holds a bachelor's degree in communication and sociology from the University of California at Santa Barbara and a master's degree in public administration from California State University-Northridge. He is a fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and active in numerous community organizations and activities in the Ventura County area. Community Memorial Health System, a not-forprofit health system, is comprised of Community Memorial Hospital, Ojai Valley Community Hospital, and nine Centers for Family Health located in various Ventura County communities.