Hospital CEO Sabin bids Steamboat farewell

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— Margaret Sabin, CEO of Steamboat Springs Health Care Association, aerobics instructor, and Rotarian, is leaving the Yampa Valley. Yesterday was her last official day as CEO. Bouquets of flowers, long hugs, cards, cake and gifts filled the day.

"We're all kind of sad," co-worker Dr. Gary Snook said. "We're losing someone with three qualities that are hard to find in any one person: she's a visionary, she has a huge network throughout the country, and she is a fund-raiser better than anyone I've ever seen."

Although she's leaving the valley, Sabin's friends and co-workers decided that she needs to take a piece of the Yampa River with her.

A smaller version of Diane Cionni's "Light on Quiet Water," one of Sabin's favorite paintings of the Yampa that hangs at the hospital, was given to her by friends and colleagues in the midst of a tough day of lasts and farewells.

"It's hard to talk about," Sabin said. "But isn't this painting wonderful? These guys couldn't have surprised me more. I've always loved that painting in the lobby."

Sabin will spend today cleaning out her office and playing golf in the Hospice Tournament.

"I've never golfed or skied in Steamboat," Sabin said. "It seems OK to do now, but there was just too much to do before."

Although Sabin will be packing up and leaving soon, she will be commuting back here from California, where she will be CEO for Marin General Hospital and Novato Community Hospital, indefinitely and at least until the end of the summer. Sabin will continue to work on certain projects with SSHCA as deemed necessary by board members.

The rest of Sabin's family her husband, Andy, and daughters Meghan, Katie, Madeleine and Claire will be staying in Steamboat until the end of the summer.

"We're just so involved here," Sabin said. "It's too hard, for many reasons, for all of us to leave at once."

Sabin has been CEO of the health care association for 4 1/2 years. Co-workers consider Sabin's departure a loss, given her stellar track record and contributions to the health care association and community.

"If it weren't for her, we wouldn't be sitting here in this wonderful facility right now," her assistant Candyce Bongiorno said. "When I think of this facility and the new direction of the hospital, I immediately think of Margaret. California's very fortunate. Our loss is their gain."

Sabin resigned her position on March 23. Bob Maddox, president of the hospital board, attributes her resignation to a lack of board support coupled with a sweetheart deal from Marin General Hospital.

She leaves, however, on good terms with the board and the community. When she resigned, the board acknowledged the health care association would not be where it is now because of Sabin.

"Without her," Maddox said, "we'd still be sitting up on Broad Street."


To reach Bonnie Nadzam call 871-4205 or e-mail bnadzam@amigo.net

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