New Carson Valley Medical Center CEO Focuses On Shaping Future Of Healthcare In Carson Valley

Posted By on August 19, 2016

by Joey Crandall, • 5 min read

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. — It would seem that Preston Becker’s entire career has been building toward this new chapter in life.
Earlier this summer, Becker was introduced as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Carson Valley Medical Center.

He brought with him a hearty desire to help shape a vision for the future of healthcare in Carson Valley.

Preston Becker

Preston Becker

Part of that vision will be continuing to expand the promotion of community wellness – something Becker said CVMC has done a stellar job with already.

“It’s becoming more common, just the focus on being a healthier community,” he said. “I commend the team here. They’ve done a great job connecting with the community and focusing on wellness. They help promote wellness through a variety of different community organizations.

“It’s a vital part of taking care of any community.”

Along those lines, CVMC will host its annual Wellness Fest on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at its hospital campus in Gardnerville, 1107 Highway 395.

A variety of wellness booths and services will be available throughout the morning, including free glucose and BMI testing, nutritional consultations, and chair massages at the “relaxation station.”

It’ll also be a chance for the community to meet Becker, and much of the rest of the CVMC team.

Becker was thrust into the role of Chief Financial Officer for a hospital in rural Idaho at a young age.

“The thing about a smaller hospital is that you are able to do so much more in a small amount of time — wear so many hats,” Becker said. “You aren’t confined to one set of responsibilities so much, so you really get to know a variety of aspects of the industry at once.”

Becker grew up around the healthcare profession, and knew early on it was a career path he wanted to pursue.

“My mom works in radiology, so I grew up in hospitals,” he said. “I’ve just kind of always been in the environment and had an innate desire to be involved in it.”

Becker started his career as a controller, but quickly moved into a CFO role, where he would stick for 12 years.

“The CFO (where I was) resigned, and it happened fairly unexpectedly,” Becker said. “The board asked if I would consider serving in that role.

“I had a very patient and experienced CEO who was willing to mentor me and take me under her wing. She’s been instrumental in helping me get to where I am.”

Over time, Becker said he felt the desire to take on new challenges.

“I’ve had the privilege of gaining exposure and taking on some responsibilities outside the scope of a normal CFO,” Becker said, “I really started to desire a new challenge and started looking for an opportunity to be a CEO at a rural hospital.”

When Becker began looking around at potential CEO positions earlier this year, Gardnerville popped up on the radar.

“We’d become familiar with Lake Tahoe through some friends in Auburn, Calif.,” Becker said. “This opening caught my attention, I called the recruiter and had a good conversation with her. I went through the interview process and was offered the job. Everything just felt right. All the doors were open, and we felt like this was where we belong.”

So Becker moved with his wife and three children – ages 9, 7 and 3 – to the Valley.

“I’ve been very impressed with this community and how it really supports the hospital,” he said. “You don’t always see that in a small town. It’s very refreshing. The administrative team here has done phenomenal work. Same can be said for everyone who works here. It’s been a pleasure getting to see what they have accomplished here.”

Becker said he will spend the early part of his time in the Valley acquainting himself with the needs of the community.

“There is an interesting dynamic developing where we have traditionally served an older population, but there is a growing younger population here as well,” he said. “Ultimately, we want to be able to keep people close to home for convenience as they seek healthcare services. When you serve a smaller population, you can’t be all things to all people. But you do need to continuously evaluate what services you can support.

“The volumes here have grown a great deal. There is a need to grow and expand what we do. When I think about the future, I think in terms of 5, 10 and 15 years down the road and gearing our long-range planning to sustain quality healthcare in this community for years to come.”

Becker said he plans to get out in the community in the coming months and speak with a variety of stakeholders to help shape a broad vision for healthcare services in the area.

At this weekend’s wellness fest, many community services will be highlighted with representatives from East Fork Fire Protection District, Care Flight, the Partnership of Community Resources, and Douglas County Parks and Recreation, among others, all slated to be in attendance. CVMC will also be offering $25 EKG’s (by appointment only). For more information, or to register for a class or activity, call (775) 782-1637.