The Lompoc Valley Medical Center Board Room was named Thursday in honor of outgoing Board President Raymond F. Down Jr. Mr. Down served on the Board of Directors for 47 years.
He was first appointed to a vacant seat in 1973 and opted this year not to run for re-election.
The room naming was revealed during a ceremony with members of Down’s family, fellow board members and hospital staff. During the event, the lettering above the boardroom entrance was unveiled.
In addition to the room naming, a plaque will be installed in Down’s honor at the entrance to the board room. The plaque states: “In Recognition and Appreciation of the Dedication, Vision and Guidance of Raymond F. Down Jr., Lompoc Valley Medical Center Board of Directors 1973-2020.”
During his tenure, Down was part of board discussions that led to the construction of the Comprehensive Care Center skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility; the hiring of several chief executive officers; the expansion of the emergency room at the former hospital site and the purchasing of high-end diagnostic imaging, lab and information systems equipment among other accomplishments. He was also involved in the passage of a bond measure that led to the construction of the new hospital and the renovation and eventual leasing of the Champion Center. He spent many years as a member of the state association relating to hospital districts.
Down is one of Santa Barbara County’s longest serving elected officials.
“One of the things that kept it interesting (was) there was always something new,” Down said earlier. “Every time I’d get toward the end of a term, I’d say, ‘Well, you know, I could let someone else do this.’ Then I’d say, ‘Well, I’ll go one more term and finish this project.’ And at the end of another four years, there would be another project.”
Chief Executive Officer Steve Popkin lauded the work accomplished by Mr. Down during his tenure.
“I have sought Ray’s advice and guidance on many occasions, and he has always been a voice of reason and always provided a perspective that either confirmed a decision I was struggling with or provided input that changed the way I was thinking,” Popkin said.
Former CEO Jim Raggio spoke about Mr. Down being a perfect board member because he understood the needs of the community and with his background in the banking industry, he was able to astutely manage the hospital’s finances.
“His involvement with the healthcare industry is really renown throughout the state,” Mr. Raggio said.
Established in 1946, Lompoc Valley Medical Center is one of California’s healthcare districts and its facilities are governed by an elected board of directors.