GOLD BEACH andndash; Andrew Bair, who most recently served as chief executive officer of Samaritan Healthcare of Moses Lake, Wash., was hired Thursday as the new CEO of the Curry Health District, which operates Curry General Hospital in Gold Beach, Curry Medical Center in Brookings and Curry Family Medical in Port Orford.

Interim CEO Tom Troy said the Health District board of directors offered the position to Bair Thursday.

"Andrew has accepted and will begin official duties Oct. 24," Troy said. "He will begin by attending the Oregon Rural Hospital Association meeting in Gleneden Beach."

"They're going to be talking about how health care is going to pay in the future," Troy said.

Bair's first official day in Gold Beach will be Oct. 29.

Troy said Bair's most recent position was also as CEO of a public district.

"He has an extensive background," Troy said. "He's a registered nurse and holds a current license in the state of Washington. I believe he intends to maintain the license. He also has a master's degree in business administration. He's highly qualified."

Troy said Bair started in the industry as a teenager, working various levels in hospitals.

He started working in the kitchen, then custodial and administrative work.

"He was a charge nurse in the emergency room," Troy said.

"He's married. His wife's name is Robin. She is a real estate agent in Washington," Troy said.

Bair will be paid $185,000 annually.

Officials said that is in line with similar salaries in Oregon.

The Health District board of directors had been searching for a new CEO since June, when they gave former CEO Bill McMillan a 60-day notice. McMillan was paid $149,000 a year.

Bair resigned from Samaritan on Aug. 7.

Bair was traveling on Friday and could not be reached for comment.