Ray Reynolds, who has been Glen Rose Medical Center's chief financial officer for the past three years, has moved up the ladder to become the next chief executive officer.

The county's Hospital Authority Board made the announcement Friday at 4 p.m. after calling together the hospital staff to gather in the lobby. The board members met with the three finalists for the job, their spouses and with department heads and staff over the past few days before making their decision.

“We have spent way too many hours in this hospital and we haven't had to pay a dime,” Board Chairman Larry Shaw quipped before revealing the new CEO's name. “It's kind of like charitable care.”

Shaw said 90 candidates applied for the job, which came open after Gary Marks, the center's longtime CEO and son of the hospital's co-founder, Dr. Roger Marks, said he planned to retire in November.

After narrowing down the list of candidates to three, the board members held in-depth interviews with them, took them on tours of Glen Rose, including schools and the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power District, and entertained them Monday evening at a social at Barnard's Mill and Art Museum that was catered by the hospital's food service department.

Reynolds, who walked into the lobby a few minutes after the announcement, wore a dark suit and a big smile.

“Thank you to the board and staff for the confidence you've shown in me,” Reynolds said. “More than anything I'm proud of the opportunity to work with you guys. You are one of a kind.

“I hope we can look back in a couple of years and say, wow, look at the progress we've made,” he added.

Hospital staff applauded when Reynolds' name was announced. They lined up to shake his hand and offer hugs of congratulations.

The two other candidates were from medical institutions in Texas and had administration backgrounds, Shaw said after the announcement.

Reynolds has been CFO during a particularly difficult time as the center struggled to turn around financial losses caused largely by the facility's heavy caseload of patients who either could not pay their bills or were charity cases. He also has overseen the shift to a new computer system as the center moves toward computerizing hospital records and putting new technology in the hands of staff to better serve customers.

Somervell County Mike Judge has estimated in his 2011-2012 proposed budget that the center's expenses will total about $1.84 million, including $600,000 for administration fees, $837,795 for indigent medical care/prescriptions and $400,000 for hospital equipment.

The budget for the medical center the previous year was $1.48 million.

Reynolds and his wife, Debbie, have lived in Stephenville and have been active in the community there. But one of the board's requirements was that the medical center's CEO live in Glen Rose, so Reynolds and his wife will be moving, Shaw said.

He added that the choice of Reynolds for CEO was not just based on the fact that he was an insider and knew the medical center and its financial condition and operations well.

“This was not an easy decision and was no by no means a slam-dunk,” Shaw said.

Reynolds' experience with the medical center was “a strength,” Shaw added, and was considered.

“But we were looking to get someone who was a good fit with our staff and with our needs,” he continued. “You want to hire the best person who fulfills our needs today.”

Reynolds will begin his new position Monday morning. Marks is acting as a consultant to him, Shaw said.

“It's his show and we expect great things,” Shaw said of Reynolds.

And Reynolds had this to say as he left the lobby: “See you all bright and early Monday morning.”