Q&A with Brian Bentley

Brian S. Bentley, 53, was recently named new administrator at Plains Regional Medical Center. He will take over his duties Sept. 1.

Q: Where do you call home?
A: We’re coming to Clovis from Merced, Calif. I grew up in Southern California, but I think of Arizona as my home.

Q: What was your job prior to coming to Clovis?
A: I was working with a consulting firm based in Merced that works with financially distressed clinics and hospitals.

Q: What prompted you to apply for the position?
A: My wife and I have been coming to New Mexico for the last 15 years, and we fell in love with the state. So I’d been looking for jobs in New Mexico when this came open.

Q: What impressed you about this particular job?
A: With the turnaround work I’d been doing, my focus had been on cutting costs and trimming budgets, but here there’s opportunity for expansion and growth. That’s the most fun in healthcare. I derive my motivation from wanting to accomplish something, and I see there’s a lot still to be accomplished, a lot of opportunity for growth and expansion here.

Q: What is your impression of the staff and people of Clovis?
A: I’ve met quite a few people. The staff here is very solid. One of the things that impressed me about Clovis is the quality of people here. A lot of work has already been done in this community to make it a good place to live. I’m very impressed by that.

Q: What will be a main focus as you begin your new administrative duties at PRMC?
A: There’s strong agreement between the hospital trustees and Presbyterian Healthcare Systems about recruiting new physicians into the community. And that will help drive new services we can offer to the community and the physical plant expansion that’s already in the works.

Q: How would you go about recruiting new physicians to the area?
A: It has to be an organized recruiting process — not just the hospital, but the community at large must be involved in it. The competition for physicians is fierce. Every community is recruiting, but once you’ve got physicians, you’ve got to make sure you have the facilities for them to use. By bringing in more physician specialists, you bring in more services to the community and the region. And that makes it easy for more people to stay in the area.

Q: How does your family feel about the move to Clovis?
A: Currently, my wife, Laurie, works in the California Welcome Center, and we have two grown sons, who both live in Ventura, Calif. But my wife is thrilled about it. She can hardly wait to get here. She’s already making plans for people to come visit us here. I think we’ll integrate quickly into the community.

Q: What about your personal interest or hobbies?
A: The job itself will be extremely interesting to me. We plan to retire here in New Mexico. I enjoy skiing and photography, and my wife does a lot of Southwestern cooking. We hope to work on community projects that will better life here.

— Compiled by CNJ senior writer Gary Mitchell