A former chief of staff for Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and a leading advocate of the city's ban on public smoking have been appointed to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital board of trustees.
Kathy Greenlee, who was Sebelius' first chief of staff and is the state's long-term care ombudsman, and Judy Keller, the executive director for the Topeka-based American Lung Association of Kansas, joined the board Wednesday. Keller also had served on the task force that helped draft regulations that ban smoking in the workplace and other public places.
Both were appointed by Lawrence Mayor Mike Rundle to serve a four-year term on the board, which oversees the operations and the approximately $100 million budget of the city-owned hospital.
Donna Osness, a retired principal of Riverside School, became chairwoman of the board. Osness, who has been on the board for six years, replaced Lawrence banker Vickie Randel, who had served the maximum two terms on the board.
In appointing the two new members, Rundle declined to reappoint David Corliss to a second term on the board. Corliss is the city's assistant city manager and director of legal services. Rundle said Corliss' position at City Hall was a factor in his decision not to reappoint him.
Rundle said he thought Corliss' role on the board could be perceived as a conflict of interest if city commissioners had to review a request from another health care company that wanted to locate in the city. Rundle also questioned whether city staff members should be on a board that makes policy.
"There is a tenet of public administration that the elected officials and governing boards make policy, and professional staff implements policy," Rundle said. "While that fine line is probably crossed from time to time, I would much prefer that we keep the roles clear."