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LVMC CEO Jim Raggio 2018 (copy)

For the second time since Dec. 31, the Lompoc Valley Medical Center board of directors decided Thursday to extend the contract — and delay the retirement — of CEO Jim Raggio.

For the second time in a two-week span, the Lompoc Valley Medical Center board of directors has decided to extend the contract — and delay the retirement — of CEO Jim Raggio.

The board met Thursday in closed session to discuss whether to appoint an interim CEO while it waits for Stephen Popkin, who agreed last year to succeed Raggio as CEO, to report for duty. The board was tasked Thursday with deciding whether to have someone else fill in as CEO between the end of Raggio’s contract, which was extended on Dec. 31 to run through Jan. 18, and the arrival of Popkin, who has until Feb. 28 to report, per his contract.

Rather than go with an interim leader, however, the board instead decided to extend Raggio’s employment agreement through March 1.

Popkin had initially been expected to take over his role in Lompoc in early January, but that timeline was pushed back, reportedly due to Popkin’s involvement in the ongoing sale of the Parkview Community Hospital Medical Center, for which he is currently CEO. That facility is in the process of being acquired by AHMC Healthcare Inc.

Raggio, who has been LVMC's CEO since 1998, initially announced his intention to retire in January 2018.

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Willis Jacobson covers the city of Lompoc for Lee Central Coast Newspapers. Follow him on Twitter @WJacobsonLR.

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