Jason Melendy, the Cambria Community Healthcare District’s operations director/paramedic, has added to his resume the title and responsibilities of temporary district administrator.
In a unanimous vote in an Oct. 3 after a closed session discussion, district trustees approved that appointment. Melendy’s salary will remain the same, he said, but he’ll get an extra $500 stipend in each bimonthly paycheck to compensate him for the extra work he’ll be doing.
The district’s previous administrator Bob Sayers retired at the end of September.
CCHD’s administrative services manager, Heidi Holmes-Nagy, reportedly also will receive a stipend in addition to her regular pay, because she, too, will be assuming additional responsibilities until the district hires a new administrator.
According to an Oct. 3 media release from the board, the district soon will start recruiting for a permanent administrator.
Melendy, 38, is the latest family member to administer district operations. Family ties to the district began more than 50 years ago when his grandmother, Doris “Dorie” Melendy, was the ambulance service’s first driver. Her sons, Dave and Don Melendy, served consecutively as the CCHD administrator.
Jason Melendy, Don Melendy’s son, began his healthcare career on Feb. 6, 1999 as an emergency medical technician at the Cambria district.
He graduated from paramedic school in 2001, and then worked fulltime for San Luis Ambulance Service while continuing part time for the Cambria district. He went fulltime in July 2004 and became operations director most recently in Aug. 2016, having had that position previously.
“Throughout the past 19 years, I have seen our agency evolve with technology,” he said in an Oct. 9 e-interview. “We have state of the art EKG monitors, Intraosseous (bone marrow) infusion devices and capabilities of transmitting advanced heart-rhythm analysis directly to the emergency room from the field. I am proud of the progress we have made.”
Melendy added: “During the next few months, our board of trustees will be evaluating applications for the position of administrator. In the meantime, we will continue to provide advanced life-support transport services to our citizens and visitors. Our paramedics and EMTs are committed to providing professional and compassionate service to our patients.”
Besides ambulance transport and emergency medical care in the field, the district provides healthcare education and other services. CCHD owns property, two medical buildings and the former ambulance-crew facility building at 2515-2535 Main Street.
The district recently moved its administrative offices to the smaller building. The current tenant in the larger medical building is Community Health Centers of the Central Coast (CHC), although that’s expected to change sometime soon when CHC moves into the Knollwood Circle office that the healthcare district used to occupy.
In recent years, the district has had fiscal challenges, including costly mudslide damage to the Main Street building and the need for a used ambulance recently purchased with grant funds.
In the Nov. 6 general election, there are four CCHD candidates running for three seats on the board: Incumbent Bob Putney and challengers Laurie Mileur, Iggy Federoff and Bill Rice. Current trustees Mary Anne Meyer and Jerry Wood did not seek to retain their seats on the board.
The ballot also includes a CCHD measure designed to raise about $237,000 a year to help offset cutbacks in Medicare and insurance payments toward ambulance and capital expenses. The measure would levy a special parcel tax of $35.04 per year per parcel for six years.
According to the measure’s description, funds raised would go only toward repairing, replacing or upgrading the ambulance fleet and healthcare facilities. None of the money would go toward salaries.