Hospital District Election Ballot Deadline is 5 days away – what’s the big deal this year?

May 1st is the deadline to apply for a mail-in ballot for the Salida Hospital District Election where new Directors will be chosen.  In 2012 there are 8 candidates running for 2 open seats.  What’s the big deal this year?  Certainly health care reform, rising costs and reduced provider reimbursements are on everyone’s mind.  There has long been an air of mystery about the Salida Hospital District - how property taxes collected fund the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center  (HRRMC) and how the Board governs the hospital.  With so many candidates running this year, obviously people are not satisfied with just “business as usual”.  The hospital does many things very well but cannot be all things to all people and remain on sound financial footing.  Hard choices will be made about operations, programs and capital investments.  Who will speak for you?

As a primary caregiver, HRRMC is a major employer with a budget of some $60 million.  The Salida Hospital District includes all of Chaffee County, Northern Saguache County and Western Fremont County.   It’s a big business true, but the Hospital District Board serves at the pleasure of the voters and deserves our close attention.

Despite a big stakes outcome, the District is not required to mail ballots to registered voters/property owners. You have to ASK for a mail in ballot to be sent or take time away to vote in person on May 8th at  HRRMC 1000 Rush Drive in Salida or American Legion Hall 338 North Railroad in Buena Vista.  With these barriers in place turnout may be very low.  Each and every vote is thus truly critical.  To get your mail in ballot go to the HRRMC Home Page, click on the “Application for mail-in ballot” button at the bottom center of the page and mail it today to the address shown.  There’s only a few days left to do this.

As voters and real/personal property owners you have a major stake in how the District and the hospital are operated.   Don’t opt out by not voting or just wait until you are a patient receiving care at HRRMC.  Chose candidates for the Board who will reflect your needs and priorities.  While there is a large pool of candidates this year and each have skills and an agenda to offer, keep in mind a goal of building a balanced  board with broad expertise and a mandate for transparency and community involvement.

Cast your ballot in person by mail, starting now or on May 8th at the polling places.

The Citizen is happy to provide a forum for comments and discussion. Please be civil, truthful, and relevant. Please suggest removal of comments that violate these standards. Real names are appreciated.

4 Responses to “Hospital District Election Ballot Deadline is 5 days away – what’s the big deal this year?”

  1. Paul Ammatelli

    I encourage all eligible residents of the hospital district to participate in the upcoming special election. This is an occasion to promote the community's vision for wellness while taking ownership for the process. The engaged, educated, and motivated individual is most able to contribute to a healthy and caring society. Most medical centers do not have elected governing boards. Hospital district ballots are highly unique to small town America. Consider this opportunity to be a local experiment to test health care of the people, by the people, for the people.

    Vote. Your life may depend on your choice.

    Paul Ammatelli, MD

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  2. Robin

    April 30, 2012

    Dear Citizen Readers,

    Studies have shown that providing prevention services and chronic disease management decreases hospitalizations. This is a philosophy that Marilyn Bouldin has embraced in her health care management career, and this is what she will bring to the hospital board. She is the “whole package”, with vast experience in management, public health, community service, and compassionate care.

    I know that Marilyn will follow Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center motto...”We put the care in healthcare”. I encourage you to vote for Marilyn Bouldin on May 8th.

    Robin NeJame

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  3. Bill Donavan

    The HRRMC community is fortunate to have the opportunity to elect Marilyn Bouldin to their hospital board. In the years I worked with Marilyn in community and academic nursing, she was an exceptional healthcare and nursing advocate, energetic, committed, and a visionary leader. She advanced community healthcare while respecting needs and traditions. I’m confident she will be no less committed as a member of the HRRMC hospital board.

    Judith Hiester MS, RN
    Nursing Program Clinical Coordinator
    Colorado Northwestern Community College
    Craig, Colorado

    Like (0)