CONYERS — The Hospital Authority of Rockdale County recently welcomed a new member aboard and bid farewell to a long-serving former member.
Local pediatrician Dr. Forrest Doud participated in his last authority meeting last week after completing his second consecutive three-year term on the board. Bylaws do not allow a member to serve beyond two complete terms.
The Rockdale Board of Commissioners offered a ballot nominating three local residents to fill Doud's vacancy. Doud's term expires this month. HARC Chairwoman Ethel Boyle said the authority selected Allan Jones during Tuesday's regular meeting.
Jones sits on the Rockdale County Board of Health.
"We liked his overall understanding of the needs," Boyle said. "He brings a perspective that we don't have on the board, with his work on the health department, so that'll be good to have."
Jones is a long-time county resident who has handled various community issues while on the health board for three years. Jones told the Citizen on Friday that he is looking forward to serving on the Hospital Authority.
"I think it's a great opportunity to further the quality of living we have here by making sure that with the funds we have available we make sure we have health and wellness for the community, folks that can't afford it," Jones said. "I think we can do that by helping different entities."
Besides his more than 20 years of service in charitable organizations, Jones said he brings experience through his work of managing business accounts at Staples.
"I have a good feeling about what will work and what won't," Jones said.
Boyle also pointed to Jones' work at the Boys and Girls Club as board member.
"He's a really wonderful public servant and community volunteer," Boyle said.
A couple of other authority seats were up for reappointment, seats held by authority members Benny Atkins and Beth Andersen. The two were eligible to serve another term and were selected to be reappointed.
"It gives us some new folks, a new outlook, but it also keeps the continuity, which is very important," Boyle said of the appointments.
Boyle expressed appreciation for Doud's service.
"We do appreciate all he's done," Boyle said. "He's just a wonderful member with a lot of insight and we'll miss his expertise."
The Hospital Authority shifted into becoming a charitable giving foundation for health care and education after it launched its grants programs earlier this year. The authority's new Primary Care Access Grant program and the new Small Community Projects Grant program are funded through the interest money accrued from last February's sale of Rockdale Medical Center to LifePoint Hospitals. The authority has roughly $3.1 million in unrestricted funds. Last month, the authority dispersed its first round of grant funds, $50,000, to 14 different local organizations after a selection process. HARC has said there will be other grant cycles.