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FRHD honors outgoing board members


Last updated 12/4/2018 at 6:44am

FALLBROOK – Fallbrook Regional Health District recognized the faithful service of outgoing board members Stephen Abbott and Gordon Tinker at a recent board meeting. They will be replaced by newly-elected members Jennifer Jeffries and Karen Schwartz-Frates. Member Howard Salmon was re-elected.

"Public service is a noble endeavor and we shall miss the faithful efforts of both board president Tinker and member Abbott on behalf of the public," said district CEO Bobbi Palmer. "And we look forward to working with our new members Jeffries and Schwartz-Frates."

Abbott, who also serves as fire chief to the North County Fire Protection District, served on the board from 2010 to 2018. He was recently recognized by state Sen. Joel Anderson (R-Alpine) as one of Fallbrook's California Heroes, having shown his commitment to public safety with excellent leadership and unrivaled enthusiasm.

Tinker served on the board since 2006. He is a retired U.S. Navy Commander after having served for more than 20 years. In addition, he served as general manager of the Fallbrook Public Utility District for nearly 19 years.

The Fallbrook Regional Health District honors outgoing board members Gordon Tinker and Stephen Abbott during a recent regular meeting, front row from leflt, board members Barbara Mroz, Gordon Tinker, Stephen Abbott and Bill Leach; back row, Katie Bussard (Galvanized Strategies consultant), Kathy Bogle (public accountant), Blaise Jackson (legal counsel), Wendy Lyon (bookkeeper), Linda Bannerman (executive administrative assistant), Bobbi Palmer (CEO), Mireya Banuelos (community health coordinator), Pamela Knox (special projects coordinator), Joe Valerio (administrative support), Solange Ebobisse (business development intern), and Frauke Nasdal-Sebbo (project administrator).

"It's hard to imagine the board without either of these wise voices," Palmer said. "They've been a steady force during recent years of transition." During their tenure, the district has evolved from providing hospital services to providing community-health and wellness services.

As recently as 2014, the now-closed Fallbrook Hospital was managed under a 30-year lease agreement by Tennessee-based Community Health Systems. The company closed the hospital's labor and delivery department in September 2014 and by November, shuttered the emergency and intensive-care departments.

A three-year aggressive nationwide search led to several offers falling through as the District spent $200,000 annually to maintain the empty facility. Then in 2017, the first solid offer came through from Crestwood Behavioral Health Inc. to purchase the facility.

Both Abbott and Tinker were instrumental in the successful sale, which allowed the district to purchase and open the Fallbrook Regional Health District Wellness Center, 1636 E. Mission Road, which is already hosting health screening events and classes, such as yoga for seniors.

"Thanks to their leadership, we're back to offering the community quality health screenings and wellness classes under one roof," Palmer said. "We wish them both well and thank them greatly for their service."

Learn more about the future Fallbrook Wellness Center at

Submitted by Fallbrook Regional Health District.


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