Originally Published: December 18, 2016 6 a.m.
The former chief executive officer of a health care center in Grand Island, Nebraska, will take over duties as director of newly-established Community Health Center of Yavapai (CHCY) on Dec. 29, having received approval by the Yavapai County Board of Supervisors and the Prescott Free Clinic on Dec. 7.
According to her resume, Sharon Rickman earned a bachelor’s degree in education at University of Nebraska – Lincoln, and a Master’s in Public Administration at University of Nebraska at Omaha. Although she’s lived and worked in other states, she said she considers Nebraska home. She was born in Omaha and raised on a cattle farm in the southeastern portion of the state.
Most recently, Rickman completed a year as CEO at the Heartland Health Center which only opened four months before she took the position. During that time, she applied for and received several grants, opened a dental office, established financial reserves from $0 to $189,000, and expanded services to include a pediatrician.
Prior to that, Rickman spent 15 years with Family Health Services in Tecumseh, Nebraska, which served 10 counties. She helped open an office in Lincoln which tripled the Family Planning program capacity; increased revenues and reserves; restructured the organization for cross-training opportunities; completed numerous projects; and instituted a new personnel policy manual.
Supes appoint temporary public defender
The Board of Supervisors discussed in executive session the appointment of an interim public defender.
The vacancy was created by the appointed of Deputy Public Defender John Napper to the position of Judge Pro Tempore, Division B.
After reconvening, the supervisors approved the temporary special assignment of Deputy Public Defender Lourdes Todd to the position, effective Jan. 1, 2017.
From 1983-2000, Rickman worked in various capacities providing services to individuals with developmental disabilities, from executive director with Community Options, Inc. of Tennessee, chief operating officer with Southwest Developmental Services, Inc, in Garden City, Kansas, and positions as program director and residential coordinator with agencies in North Carolina and Nebraska.
Rickman has accepted the county’s offer of a starting annual salary of $101,361, with up to $6,000 in relocation expenses. She applied for the position in Yavapai County as she wanted to continue to work for a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC).
“I believe that the means by which we receive our health care will continue to evolve and that FQHC’s will continue to be a part of that evolution,” she said through an email with the Daily Courier Monday.
Her family has ties to Arizona, and she said the weather also played a part in her decision. “I am hopeful that I will not feel a need for four-wheel drive on my next car,” she said.
Twenty people applied for the director position, said Wendy Ross, director of Human Resources and Risk Management. The selection board narrowed those to two finalists.
The selection committee consisted of Ross, Yavapai County Supervisor Rowle Simmons, County Administrator Phil Bourdon, Prescott Free Clinic Board Chairman Been Fetters and board member Maureen Haubrich, and Dr. William Thrift, member of the Yavapai County Board of Health.
Rickman is aware that her employment is contingent on receiving approval from the Board of Supervisors, the Prescott Free Clinic, and the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), which provides the major funding. HRSA is expected to issue an official approval next week, said David McAtee, public information officer for CHCY and Yavapai County Community Health Services. The county’s Human Resources Department conducts its own criminal background checks on all new employees, he added.