MEEKER | Four open seats on the Pioneers Medical Center Board of Directors will be filled at the special district election May 8. The Herald Times asked each of the five candidates eight questions via email. These are their responses.
The election will be held in conjunction with ERBM Recreation and Park District and Rio Blanco Fire Protection District at the Fairfield Center. Polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Interviews for all candidates in these races can be found at http://www.theheraldtimes.com/tag/election-2018/
1. I was born and raised in Bangor Maine.I enlisted in the Navy at the age of 19 and joined the submarine community. I served on multiple submarines, squadron and group commands; most notably I was the Command Master-Chief of the USS Ohio stationed in Bangor, Washington. I was fortunate to serve multiple commands at Submarine Base Bangor, allowing us to settle in the community until I retired from military services in 2008, after serving 25 years. I married “the girl next door” and we have been married for 29 years. We have three children and one grandson. I love the outdoors and had always wanted to explore Colorado and in 2012 I jumped at an opportunity to work in the oil and gas industry in the Piceance Creek area. Once here I felt at home with the friends I made, the community and the surroundings. In July 2013 we purchased our home and became residents of Rio Blanco County. I have been the operations manager for HuffCo Services since 2012 and although the gas and oil industry has slowed, we continue operations in Rio Blanco and surrounding counties.
2. I have no experience with the hospital board of directors, but I have received services in the clinics, physical therapy and have had surgery requiring inpatient care at the hospital. I greatly appreciated the quality care that I received.
3. I feel it is important to be an active and participating member of the community that I live in. I have some experience in serving on boards and feel that different perspectives and experiences is beneficial. I have heard positive and negative comments about Pioneer Medical Center and believe that my experiences can help to create a positive future for the medical center.
4. As a Command Master Chief in the Navy, I served on a number of panels and boards that perform similar functions, just at a much larger scale.
5. I see the hospital as an outstanding facility with staff and leadership that is focused on continuing to provide quality care to patients and to improve the services they provide. The medical professionals that I have met genuinely care about the well-being of their patients and the community as a whole.
6. The board members are responsible to the residents of the district ensuring the adherence to all the governing mandates.
7. I feel the biggest challenge for the hospital is the ability to attract and keep well-trained and qualified staff. Rural areas always face these issues due to the isolated community. Limited resources is a significant impact. There is not a lot of affordable housing and support services such as daycare facilities to support a large influx of people.
8. I believe working closely with the board of directors, the hospital management team, the hospital staff and most importantly the members of our community with a focus on the provision of quality and comprehensive health care is the priority. Communication is key. Continuing to look at what is working in similar facilities/areas can assist in providing focus.
1. I was raised in Wyoming on the Red Desert and Little Snake River, and have lived in Meeker for the past 34 years. I currently work at Yampa Valley Bank, and have been in the banking business about 25 years. I very much enjoy volunteering in our community events.
2. I have been privileged to be a member of this PMC hospital board for the past four years. I have enjoyed working through the transition from the old to new facilities, and find it rewarding to be a part of the improvement and excellence of our local hospital.
3. Over the past four years, I have been proud to be a part of the hospital leadership. The board has worked hard to improve what we offer our community and valued employees. My hope is to help insure that the community of Meeker has the best health care possible.
4. I have served on the Fairfield Trust Committee and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation as well as the scholarship committee for the RBC Woolgrowers. I continue to assist with community and church events.
5. In the past few years the hospital has continued to provide additional services and increased capabilities to better serve our friends and neighbors. I believe while there is always room for improvement, new ideas, and better ways of doing things, the hospital and staff are moving forward with new and better services for our community members. I look forward to watching this continue to improve even more over time.
6. The board members are responsible to all members of our community in making the very best decisions possible for our health welfare. Board member responsibility includes the astute use of the hospital facilities and staff to provide the most excellent care possible to all who come to PMC for help.
7. In my opinion, the primary challenge the district is facing is the continued long term financial stability of the organization, which would be much improved by paying off the hospital complex loan. In conjunction with this process, I would like to see an additional reserve of funds established to use if needed to continue to promote healthcare in our area.
8. I look forward to PMC continuing to provide additional services to meet the needs of our friends and neighbors. Over the past few years, the hospital has begun providing 3D mammography, world class joint replacement and revision surgeons/surgeries. In the near future we look forward to the addition of infusions provided locally, eliminating the need for a long commute to receive these treatments elsewhere. Our health care providers and staff are always working hard and are extremely dedicated to improving our services and providing outstanding medical care to our community.
1. My name is Todd Shults and I’m a fifth generation cattle rancher here in Rio Blanco County. My wife Michelle and I are the parents of an 11-year-old daughter (Aimee) and 8-year-old twins (Lauryn and Tanner).
2. I was born at Pioneers Hospital in 1969. My grandmother, Esme Conrado, served for many years on The Pioneers Hospital Board and I look forward to the possibility of continuing our family legacy of serving in our community.
3. I enjoy people and feel it is vital for myself and my family to serve our neighbors and friends throughout the county when an opportunity arises. Being a PMC board member will be a great way for me to show my appreciation for all the many things this hospital has done for me and generations of my family.
4. My most recent service on a board was with the Meeker School District as a member and as the vice president of Rio Blanco BOCES while I served my term. I am currently president of the Rio Blanco Stockgrowers Association.
5. PMC has earned a very favorable reputation around the western slope. We are privileged to have some of the most talented doctors, nurses and medical caregivers at our facility. The Walbridge Wing is highly recognized in the field of elder care and The Hope West team are experts in compassionate end-of-life care and support for the families of these patients.
6. As I see it, the PMC Board should be responsible to the patients first and foremost and the taxpayers and residents of this community that come seeking services.
7. As with any rural hospital, financial challenges are ever present. It is also very challenging to recruit highly qualified staff to rural areas. I think PMC has done a tremendous job addressing these difficulties. I look forward to the opportunity to lend my support to this.
8. I want to encourage looking into ways to streamline addiction awareness and prevention eduction throughout our area. I also will support to offer more services to our patients.
1. I am Terry Skidmore, the fire chief and EMS director for Rio Blanco Fire Protection District. We moved to Meeker in October 2016. I have been a paramedic for 28 years and a firefighter for 30 years. My wife and I love living in Meeker. We have four children, three of whom still live on the East Coast and one who lives here in Meeker.
2. I have not had many interactions with the current hospital board. I work closely with the doctors, nursing staff, CNO and nurse manager to facilitate patient care and transport needs. We conduct training together and strive to increase the continuity of care.
3. Community involvement, helping the board understand the pre-hospital emergency side of patient care.
4. I was the Dixie Youth Baseball Director in South Carolina where I was responsible for 3,000-plus youth to coordinate annual baseball season and state tournaments. I was also the executive director for the Boy Scout of America Explore program in Georgetown, S.C., where we taught firefighting to high school students.
5. At the present time the hospital seems to be moving into the future; over the last year it has seen an increase in patients.
6. The hospital board is responsible to the citizens and taxpayers of the community.
7. Community growth, Medicare, Medicaid, keeping good caregivers here on the frontier of the west.
8. Keeping good doctors and nurses here is important. We have to take better care if the physicians and nurses we have, so they want to stay. We need good recruitment and retention practices to retain quality care providers.
1. Kai Turner, Graduate of Meeker High School in 1980, Colorado Mountain College in Steamboat Springs.
I grew up in Meeker then worked for a construction company based out of Steamboat Springs in several states in the western U.S. I returned in 1990 and bought an outfitting business in 1994 and operated it until 2012 in conjunction with guiding fly fishermen from 1997. I am currently a hunting and fishing guide at Elk Creek Ranch.
2. I have been on the Pioneers Hospital Board for nearly two years.
3. Two years ago some people asked if I would consider running for a position on the PMC board and after a week or so I decided it is very important to our community in many ways and decided to run.
4. I served on the Meeker school board for nine years and was a Rio Blanco County Commissioner for four years, at that time I was appointed to a three-year term on the Colorado River Water conservation District Board.
5. Pioneers Medical Center is moving in a positive business direction and is a solid economic driver in the community.
6. Being responsible with taxpayer dollars and generated revenue to provide good health care in our community and try to lower cost and help build a solid team to provide the best customer service possible.
7. PMC is very fortunate to have some very fine professional people employed but recruitment and retention of qualified staff in a rural community is always a challenge.
8. Continue to support the vision of Pioneers Medical Center leaders and encourage teamwork within the organization as a solid workforce is critical to the success of any organization. I would like to see Pioneers Medical Center be a premier employer in our community and continue to provide great service while being an economic stimulant.