Eight candidates have been interviewed for chief executive officer of Neshoba County General Hospital and Nursing Home by its Board of Trustees, who had hoped to have one in place by April.

The new CEO will succeed Lonnie Graeber, who announced his retirement in September.

While Graeber had hoped to retire in April, he told the Board of Supervisors on Monday that it would probably be delayed in order for him to work initially with the new CEO after he or she is hired.

"I don't think we will get the person on board in time for my April 4 retirement date but that was kinda up in the air anyway," he said.

"The board would like for me to have a 30-day overlap just for continuity purposes to help that individual to get [his or her] feet on the ground as far as what's going on in our organization."

Graeber expects the Board of Trustees to re-interview two or three of the candidates before making a final decision.

He told supervisors that he knew many of the eight candidates.

"They are really excellent people that are from this state," he said. "They are not only good as far as the business aspects of the hospital and nursing home, but also have the ability to relate well with people. Of course, we know how important that is."

Graeber's retirement will culminate 41 years in the healthcare business, 17 at Neshoba General.

He has served two terms as CEO at Neshoba General, the first from 1993 until 2007, and the second from 2010.