John G. Breitnauer Jr. is a pharmacist who has contributed his health care expertise as a member of the Delta County Memorial Hospital board of directors for 16 years. He is retiring from the DCMH board this spring.
"John's expertise as a pharmacist provided the hospital board with a valuable perspective on many issues over the past 16 years that he served on the DCMH board," commented David Lane, CPA and president of the current hospital board of directors.
Breitnauer served on the hospital board from 1992 through 1996 while rebuilding the hospital to assure financial stability and survivability.
The second round of serving on the hospital board of directors for Breitnauer was between 1996-2000 when the board made the decision to build a new hospital, rather than remodel the existing hospital building.
The most recent term committing his time and expertise to the DCMH board was 2008-2016. Breitnauer said notable changes in the community hospital during this timeframe included acquiring clinics, starting the rheumatology and oncology centers and also employing physicians.
"Health care now looks completely different than in the past, with health care reform and the Affordable Care Act," he added.
The highlights of 16 years dedicated to the hospital board have included securing the financial security of this district hospital, building a new hospital campus, expanding with the opening and acquisition of hospital clinics and most recently, hiring and working with excellent medical staff and implementing Electronic Medical Records (EMR), said Breitnauer. Also during that time, the hospital board and administrators developed relationships with other nearby hospitals including St. Mary's, Community Hospital and Montrose Memorial Hospital.
"Delta County Memorial Hospital is truly appreciative of John's longtime service to the hospital board. His expertise and knowledge of health care has been instrumental in the success of this hospital," said current hospital CEO Jason Cleckler.
"During the past 16 years of serving with other high quality hospital board members and several experienced hospital administrators, we have always been dedicated to helping this hospital succeed," Breitnauer said. He mentioned Tom Mingen, past DCMH CEO in particular, who was well respected and came out of retirement to take over the reins of the hospital at a critical time. Mingen was hospital administrator for 10 years.
Breitnauer started as a pharmacist for DCMH in the mid-1980s, when things were financially challenging for this community hospital. The Presbyterian hospital system out of Albuquerque, N.M., contracted with the hospital during that timeframe, bringing in a management team to turn things around. From there, Breitnauer became a retail pharmacist and purchased Cedaredge Pharmacy in 1990. During the past year he and wife Barbara also started 4B's, a microbrewery, gastro pub and wine bar in Cedaredge.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.