Ballots are appearing like clockwork in the mail — March, April and soon ballots for the June 26 primary. On Monday, April 16, the county clerk's office sent out ballots for the 2012 special district election.
Regardless of the recipient's location, there will be an opportunity to vote for two directors to the Delta County Memorial Hospital board.
The other questions are limited to the geographic areas incorporated within the Delta County Ambulance District, North Fork Pool, Park and Recreation District, and Hotchkiss Fire Protection District No. 4. Only registered voters who live within, or own property, in those areas are eligible to vote on the questions posed by those three special districts.
Ballots must be returned to the clerk's office in the county courthouse or the North Fork annex in Hotchkiss before 7 p.m. Election Day, May 8.
Last week, the DCI featured the six candidates seeking election to the board of directors of the Delta County Ambulance District. This week, focus turns to the four individuals seeking election to the hospital board — Diana Hanson, John Breitnauer Jr., David Lane and Barry Singleton. Two directors will be elected to four-year terms.
Diana Hanson, a resident of Delta since 2001, is prepared to give up her job at the hospital if she is elected to the board of directors of DCMH. That's a step hospital attorney Aaron Clay has said must be taken if she is elected.
Hanson has been a housekeeper at DCMH since the new facility opened. Concerned about the downturn in the economy and its effect on the health of the hospital, she began attending board meetings in February.
Hanson is a graduate of the University of Denver and has done some postgraduate work. She has also run a business. "I think I can bring a different perspective to the board because I have actually been employed there."
But whether she's elected or not, Hanson said she will continue attending the monthly board meetings. "It's useful to know what's going on and be able to ask questions."
John Breitnauer is the only incumbent on the board who is seeking re-election. Board president Thelma Starner is term limited.
If elected, Breitnauer will actually begin his third term, having previously served as director in the '90s, when the plan for the new hospital was developed. Four years ago he decided to run for election again.
"My goal is to make sure that Delta County gets the best health care we can from the hospital and its physicians."
Implementing the electronic medical records requirements for Medicare and other pieces of the Affordable Health Care Act are the hospital's most pressing issues. "We also want to make sure we keep a viable medical staff, that we're always recruiting physicians. Our goal is also to work with the CU School of Medicine to become a rural practice site."
Breitnauer and his wife Barbara have owned Cedaredge Pharmacy for 23 years. He is a graduate of the Albany College of Pharmacy in New York.
David Lane previously served two terms as a hospital board member. Hospital bylaws require that term-limited board members sit out for two years before again seeking election to the board. The two years have elapsed, and because Lane enjoyed his previous service on the board he has again decided to seek election.
Lane is a certified public accountant but has been involved in medicine since he served in the military medical corps 40 years ago. "The medical field is an interest of mine, and one I don't get to otherwise pursue as an accountant."
His financial background, his previous experience and his desire to continue doing the right thing for the hospital make him a qualified candidate for the board, he says.
Of primary importance is ensuring the hospital grows along with the community. That may mean expansion of the facility itself, as well as adding services and physicians. "As the population ages, we have to change our thought process," he said. "We need to look at the needs of the community and try to address those needs, much as we did with the addition of an oncologist several years ago."
Dr. Barry Singleton has worked in both the education and health care fields. His leadership experience includes over 18 years as a hospital administrator for public and private medical facilities such as Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and Charity Hospital in New Orleans. He holds a doctorate from the University of Northern Colorado, as well as two master's degrees from the University of Minnesota and Detroit respectively. Currently he operates Comfort Home of Delta, an assisted living facility. In the past he has been involved with Voices for Children and the Delta County Senior Resource Council.
"I will bring many years of health care management experienced to the governing board," Singleton said. "This can be helpful in making appropriate policies and providing financial oversight. I want to participate in making sure our hospital remains a valuable resource to our community now and into the future."blog comments powered by Disqus