Mark R. Stoddard, administrator of Central Valley Medical Center in Nephi, has been named president of the Utah Hospital Association.

The selection marks the first time a rural hospital administrator has been chosen for the position. The group represents all 53 of the state's hospitals and includes both rural and urban hospitals. Twenty-three of the state's hospitals are rural.The association serves as a quorum to establish the needs of hospitals in Utah and to provide solutions to problems hospitals face in the state. The group also lobbies on a state as well as a national level.

Stoddard served as chairman of the Council of Rural Hospitals last year, the year that council was organized.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:

"This speech is not going to change the minds of those people who think we are wrong (in the Persian Gulf) . . . but I think he has shown - and the Congress has shown - that in this action we are united, and that we are involved in a just cause." - Rep. Bill Orton, D-Utah, in response to President Bush's State of the Union address. (See story on page A2.)

Those with information for this column are invited to call JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells, Douglas D. Palmer or Chuck Gates at the Deseret News, 237-2100.