NIHD press release

In today’s ever-changing government landscape, it can be difficult for a small special district to rise, prove its merits and value, and in the process show the community that it holds itself accountable to a higher standard. For the last three years Northern Inyo Healthcare District steadily worked to do just that. Recently the effort paid off as the District was recognized for not only meeting governance standards but exceeding them.

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The Association of California Healthcare Districts (ACHD) awarded NIHD its sought-after “Best Practices in Governance” certification after the District showed compliance in accountability and transparency standards, state law requirements, and website conformity. NIHD also had to demonstrate knowledge of extended financial and other state and local reporting requirements.

By voluntarily meeting ACHD’s higher standards, NIHD’s elected board leadership is upholding its responsibilities to its constituents, and once again setting an example of excellence for the health organization as a whole.

ACHD works with numerous state and local entities to promote the role Healthcare Districts play in responding to the specialized health needs of tens of millions of Californians while also having direct accountability to the communities that the Districts serve. ACHD delivers expert training and educational opportunities for its members as well. In addition, the organization advocates for legislation and regulatory policies that allow Healthcare Districts to deliver the best possible health services to Californians.

NIHD Board Member MC Hubbard, who represents southeastern Bishop, Wilkerson, Big Pine and Aberdeen, headed up the NIHD team committed to earning the recognition. NIHD Chief Executive Officer Dr. Kevin S. Flanigan said the effort represented the District’s one-team approach.

The community investment in the District from electing board members, to funding a new hospital, to the donations for equipment has proven to be highly successful in ensuring local access to high quality care,” Dr. Flanigan noted. “These types of successes — everything from local access in rural communities, to state-of-the-art care — only happen when good governance is in place. This prestigious certification affirms the great and hard work done by the Board of Directors during the past several years.”

That’s not to say that the team did not encounter challenges in its efforts. Perhaps the biggest hurdle the team faced was the District’s outdated website. Dr. Flanigan noted that while a new re-designed site is live at, and features all the governance materials reviewed by ACHD, the full development of the site will continue throughout the year in phases.

Even in its current state, the new website offers more features than what we had,” Dr. Flanigan said. “Our website now can be seen on all mobile devices; it is accessible to those with disabilities; and, it easily can be translated into other languages when using up-to-date browsers. With the coming additions of a new patient portal, an improved payment function, and a new electronic health record, people will have a much improved experience at by the end of this year.”

According to ACHD, California is home to 79 Healthcare Districts ranging in location from urban and suburban areas to rural communities like Bishop and Big Pine. Of those 79 Districts, only 20 have earned the ACHD certification. NIHD is the first Eastern Sierra healthcare district to achieve this recognition.

ACHD’s Chief Executive Officer Ken Cohen plans to extend his congratulations in person when he presents the certification to the NIHD leaders during an upcoming ACHD conference this September.

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