New county home administrator jumps into job

Having a background in health care and experience with nursing homes helped catapult Jeff Campbell, 67, of Marietta, to the top of the list of 31 contenders for the Washington County Home Administrator position.

Originally from a town along Lake Erie, Campbell has called the Mid-Ohio Valley home for the last 43 years. He was officially appointed by the Washington County Commissioners on Aug. 21.

Campbell started his new job at the home Monday morning, working alongside current Administrator Ted Williams. Williams announced to commissioners in July that he would be retiring at the end of September.

During his first day, Campbell said he’s been shadowing Williams.

“We’re in the process of having Ted help me set goals,” he said. “Ted has been here 35 years and has a whole different perspective; this has been his life.”

Campbell said he had a chance to sit down with department heads in various meetings and move some things into an upstairs office that Williams set up for him.

“The next several weeks, I’ll be going to meetings with Ted,” said Campbell. “There are some contracts out on the building; Ted’s been bringing me up to speed on that.”

The county home, at 845 County House Lane, is available for those 18 and older who are Washington County residents, or those born in the county, who are able to walk without assistance. The care provided includes Hospice, bariatric care, behavioral care, short-term stays for respite and skin/wound care.

Williams said what he’s seen so far from Campbell is promising.

“I’m impressed,” he said. “He’s diving right in there…We’ll handle things as they come along.”

Williams said there are a few things he’s glad Campbell will get to experience before Williams retires: taking checks to the auditor and payrolls.

“It’s going to be a lot better having him go with me than ‘You do this and this,’ and have him taking notes,” he said. “He’ll be here for the meeting with the commissioners…I think it’s going to work out real well.”

Campbell’s vast majority of experience is local.

“I was in the nursing home profession for quite a number of years,” said Campbell. “I’ve been the executive director of the West Virginia Health Care Association. I’ve served on some national boards.”

Campbell is an active volunteer in the area, with the Salvation Army of Parkersburg and Havar Inc., located on Third Street, which serves handicapped youth in both Marietta and Athens. He has 20-plus years experience in health care.

The home will be a different environment, he said.

“I was fairly well aware of the home,” he said. “I had been out here a couple times. This is not a nursing home; this is a different experience for me.”

Williams’ salary is $81,224 per year, minus $15,024 for a maintenance fee, which acts as rent for living there. He has been the county home administrator since 1979; for nearly 35 years. His last day is Sept. 30.

Campbell will be paid $67,000 each year. He is not required to live at the home, and will instead reside with his wife in downtown Marietta.

Though Williams has 35 years of knowledge to impart, he said he’s not nervous about leaving.

“I think we’ll get through most everything in the five weeks we have together,” he said. “There’s just a lot of things that can come up on a day to day basis and now I can involve him in that, too.”

Campbell said there’s one thing he’s excited about while he’s at the home.

“The thing I’m looking forward to most is interacting with the residents here, the community, as well as the staff,” he said. “And I’ll learn something about the farm side (of operations). Ted’s got a month to teach me how to drive a tractor.”