published Thursday, April 21st, 2011

Casavant named to Erlanger board

by Chris Carroll


* Dr. Dan R. Quarles, chairman — Hamilton County appointee

* James D. Hutcherson, vice chairman — Chattanooga appointee

* Kim H. White, secretary — Chattanooga appointee

* Russell T. King Jr. — Hamilton County Chancery Court appointee

* Dr. Charles F. Longer — Chattanooga-Hamilton County Medical Society appointee

* Ronald A. Loving — Chattanooga appointee

* Dr. Phyllis E. Miller — Legislative delegation appointee

* Patrick E. Quinn — Hamilton County appointee

* Richard Casavant — Hamilton County (replacing George Shuford) appointee

* Jennifer E. Stanley — Hamilton County appointee

* James A. Worthington Jr. — Chattanooga appointee

The Hamilton County Commission has appointed a former commissioner to the board of Erlanger Health System, a hospital that receives $3 million a year in county funding.

“I’m too young and fortunate with health to sit in a rocking chair,” Richard Casavant, 68, said Wednesday. “Erlanger was something I tried to stay on top of as a commissioner.”

In 2005, Casavant led a County Commission study of Erlanger after the hospital paid the federal government $40 million to settle an investigation into alleged regulatory violations.

The 11-member Erlanger board, whose members are appointed by various governing boards and civic organizations, oversees the hospital. Members serve four-year terms without compensation.

Last year Casavant lost his bid for a fourth term representing Hamilton County’s District 2, which covers Signal Mountain, Lookout Mountain, Walden, Falling Water, Mountain Creek and parts of Red Bank and Lookout Valley.

Commissioner Jim Fields, who beat Casavant in the Republican primary, nominated his former political rival Monday. The commission unanimously voted to support Fields’ motion.

Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger said he recommended Casavant as a board member since he “was always inquisitive about Erlanger’s operations” as a commissioner.

“I don’t mean he was always skeptical about what they were doing,” Coppinger said. “But he’s the best fit for that position, and he’s not a rubber-stamp type of guy. He’ll speak his mind.”

Casavant, the dean of the College of Business at University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, will replace George L. Shuford III, whose four-year term ended this month.

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