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Ward named head of for-profit hospital

Vaughn Ward, the candidate who lost the GOP primary in Idaho's 1st Congressional District this year to rival Raul Labrador after a series of campaign missteps, has been named CEO of the for-profit Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls, the AP reports, and will start the job Sept. 27th. Ward and his family plan to relocate from Eagle to North Idaho; click below for the full report from the AP and the Coeur d'Alene Press.

Former US House hopeful named Idaho hospital CEO

POST FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Former U.S. House hopeful Vaughn Ward has been appointed CEO of a northern Idaho hospital.

Ward, a Republican who lost to tea party favorite Raul Labrador in the Idaho primary three months ago, will start his new job at Northwest Specialty Hospital in Post Falls on Sept. 27.

"It's exciting to take the next step in our lives and have a chance to live in North Idaho," said Ward, who will become the fourth CEO to run the seven-year-old hospital since 2005.

Ward beat out more than 30 other candidates for the position, the Coeur d'Alene Press reports.

The former congressional candidate and decorated Iraq veteran said his time on the campaign trail allowed him to make connections, which helped lead to the opportunity in northern Idaho.

"Health care is so important to our nation and we're in dire straits with the way we're approaching it," Ward said. "I like the for-profit model Northwest Specialty Hospital utilizes."

Ward will replace outgoing CEO Ron Rock, who is retiring after three years but will remain on staff at the hospital as an anesthetist. Rock, who donated $2,500 to Ward's campaign for Congress, said the former candidate's political experience, leadership and critical thinking skills made him the best person for the job.

"I really admire his character and his service to our country," Rock said.

Ward has limited experience in the medical field.

He worked at Select Medical Corp. in Pennsylvania for four months in 2007, training to run one of the company's long-term-care hospitals. Later that year, he had a brief stint as executive director of the Idaho State Dental Association.

Ward, a major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, worked on Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign in 2008 before launching his bid for Congress in 2009. He was recruited and heavily funded by national Republicans before he lost the May 25 primary amid allegations of plagiarism on the campaign trail.

Ward, 41, and his wife, Kirsten, have two small children and live in Eagle. They plan to relocate to northern Idaho.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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