After 24 years of serving the community as a member of the Franklin County Medical Center Board of Directors, Thayne Winward announced his retirement last week. He will finish out the month.

“It’s been a good ride,” said Winward. He was recognized by the Franklin County Commissioners last week during their regular meeting, as well as at the hospital board’s annual meeting.

Winward has been the chairman for the last three and a half years.

He is most pleased with the reputation the hospital has in regard to its patient hospitality.

“I get teary-eyed when I hear about how well people are treated,” he said. “I trust fellow board members with anything. I trust this staff with anything.”

Current hospital CEO Darin Dransfield echoed the hospital’s reputation for hospitality.

“It is greater than any hospital I’ve been associated with,” he said. Dransfield was hired as the FCMC’s new CEO last fall.

Winward believes “fresh blood is always good” in leadership. The Franklin County Commissioners will announce a new board member in February, said Commissioner Robert Swainston.

During Winward’s tenure the hospital has increased the service the hospital offers its patients, “So people can stay home (in their community) for treatment.”

“I think the last addition, three years ago, where we changed the whole front entrance and made everything a little more central and the addition we will undertake this spring go hand in hand with increases service so people can be taken care of right here,” Winward said. “Service is a big thing. People can do things now they couldn’t do before.”

The board elected Richard Westerberg as the new chairman. Dan Keller is the new vice-chairman. Darin Dransfield is the board’s new secretary and treasurer.