The Liberty County Hospital Authority appointed one new member and reappointed its chairman Wednesday during a called meeting.
Liberty County coroner Reggie Pierce was appointed to fill a vacancy left by Verdell Jones, who served more than 10 years on the board.
“I’m a community person, so I enjoy being out in the community … I’m excited to get started,” Pierce said after the meeting. His term began Dec. 1.
To avoid a potential conflict of interest when handling calls that relate to Liberty Regional Medical Center, Pierce said he will recuse himself from his coroner duties and let Deputy Coroner Thomas Carter handle the calls.
Hospital authority Chairman John Long, who has served on the board since 2000 and as chairman since 2003, also was reappointed during the meeting.
Authority board members serve three-year terms, with two members being either appointed or reappointment each year, Long said. Members are allowed to serve a maximum of five terms, or 15 years.
Jones said she stepped into a partial term to fill a vacancy and since has served four consecutive terms. Though she could not remember the exact date she began serving, she was getting close to the maximum.
“I’ve seen a lot of things happen over these years,” she said. “I’m just so happy about where we are and looking back at where we started years and years ago.The hospital is an absolute asset to the community.”
Jones commended the leadership and staff at Liberty Regional and Coastal Manor Long Term Care Facility, as well as the doctors who have chosen to make Hinesville their home.
“Mr. Pierce should do a phenomenal job. He, like I, has a heart for this community and is willing to serve any way that he can, and he has a great group of board members to serve with,” she said.
Jones also has served on the Liberty County Board of Education since 2008, and she is in her first of two years as its vice chairwoman.
“It has been my absolute esteemed pleasure to serve on the board,” she said. As she has served, a mission statement posted in pediatrician Dr. Phillip Ajayi’s office has resonated in her mind.
“‘We care, God heals,’” she said. “Ever since I saw that in his office, I thought, really, that is the heartbeat of this entire organization.”