VALENTINE, Neb. - Amid public criticism regarding the Cherry County Hospital and Clinic’s struggles to retain and recruit employees, CEO Jim Bargen provided an update to county commissioners on the facility’s ongoing efforts. Bargen said that the facility has hired an interim director of nursing to help with training and improving relations with staff.

Hospital administration has also interviewed two new Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) candidates. Bargen said they made an offer to one of the applicants, but that person declined the job. Administrators will be interviewing a couple more candidates soon.

The hospital has also posted the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) position. Bargen said that they have an interim CFO under contract until October, but he would like to find someone who will be physically on site to fill the permanent position.

“Our goal is to not have as many travelers filling positions, but right now that’s not practical,” Bargen said. “It’s just going to take some time to get to that point.”

Bargen started as CEO earlier this year following the resignation of former CEO Kyle Kellum, who left to lead a hospital in Broken Bow.

“We’ve had several different leaders over recent years, and things were saved here and there, so I’m trying to get a grasp on that,” Bargen said. “I’m now getting a better understanding of where we are and where we need to be.”

You can take a look at current job openings at the hospital and clinic here.