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A field of six candidates has been announced for the Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center (HRRMC) Board of Directors, and their profiles are posted on the hospital district website. The election will be held May 3 for four, three-year board positions and one single-year position.

Allison Gergley, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, provided the candidate’s own statements on their backgrounds and what priorities they envision for the future of the district. All but one also provided photos.

Five candidates have declared to run for the four, open, three-year terms:

Bill Alderton

Bill Alderton

Current occupation: Retired Chaffee County Judge, who is still a practicing attorney part-time.

Education background: B.A., Political Science, Whitman College; J.D., Creighton University School Law School

Career experience:

Chaffee County Judge for 31 years

Attorney, Private practice and district attorney’s office – 30 years representing local government entities, including Town of Poncha Springs and Buena Vista Sanitation District

Previous board experience:

  • Board member of New Salida Ditch – present
  • Board member of Salida School District – five years

Three key initiatives that pertain to HRRMC:

I am committed to the government being open and transparent. I believe my experience working with local governments will help with that process. The hospital is currently in very good financial condition and I am committed to maintaining that position.

The hospital has plans for an urgent care facility in Salida. I support this effort as it will allow people with urgent health care issues to get medical treatment without the cost of a visit to the emergency room. I also support the outlying clinics in Coaldale, Saguache, Custer County, and Buena Vista.

All employers are experiencing trouble attracting and retaining staff. HRRMC is aware of the issue and the Board needs to continue to address this problem.

Rick Carroll

Rick Carroll

Current occupation: Retired management consultant, industrial engineer, and adult educator

Education background: B.A., Political Science, The Colorado College; M.A., Administration/Higher Education, Denver University

Additional education: Training Certification, Organizational Development, Michigan State University, Training in Industrial Engineering, John’s Manville Corporation

Career experience:

Founding Partner, Management Consultant – Performance Engineering Group – 8 years

Founding Partner, Executive Vice President – Paradigm Corporation – 18 years

Operation Manager, Manager of Sales, Director of Organizations Development – Johns Manville Corporation – 9 years

Associate Dean, Associate Professor – Southwest Minnesota State University – 2 years

Previous board experience:

  • Board Secretary and Treasurer of Paradigm Corporation – 17 years
  • Board Director of Performance Engineering Group – 7 years
  • Vestry Lay Board member of Episcopal Church – 6 years
  • Board member of Salida Housing Authority – 3 years

Key initiatives that pertain to HRRMC:

Work to continue HRRMC’s ongoing pursuit of community service excellence.

Conduct ongoing assessment of HRRMC’s ability to meet the service area’s medical needs by actively soliciting community input and feedback.

Continue the practice of attracting and maintaining highly qualified, trained, experienced and ethical medical and staff personnel.

My father, R. E. Carroll, realized the closing of the Denver and Rio Grande Hospital in Salida would leave the Upper Arkansas Valley and surrounding rural areas without available hospital services and care. He worked over a year on behalf of these communities and negotiated in their favor the sale of the hospital to a group of Salida physicians and citizens. This pivotal service has provided the foundation upon which HRRMC as we know it today is built. I want to honor his community-sustaining efforts by serving as a HRRMC board member.

Dean Edwards

Dean Edwards

Current occupation: Retired

Education background: B.S., M.S., Computer Science, California State University

Career experience:

17 years, VP of Analytic Product Development, FICO (Credit Score company)

13 years, IT Director, two Colorado Springs-based nonprofit organizations

Previous board experience:

  • Current appointed member of HRRMC Board of Directors – 1 year
  • Current Chairman, Finance Committee of HRRMC Board of Directors – 1 year
  • Current Member, Finance Committee of HRRMC Board of Directors – 3 years
  • Current Trustee, Town of Poncha Springs – 7 years

Key initiatives that pertain to HRRMC:

As the Hospital District population continues to grow, the Hospital needs to add healthcare services to minimize the need for patients to go elsewhere for their care.

Maintain fiscal responsibility in Hospital operations

Review pricing policy to address affordability for patients lacking adequate insurance.

Address housing affordability issues for current and future employees

Determine whether HRRMC can help bring about needed Senior Living/Healthcare facilities beyond skilled nursing care.

Adam Martinez (no photo provided to HRRMC)

Current occupation: crew member at Sonic at 7820 U.S. 50

Education background: Graduated from Salida High School in 1996

Career experience:

Worked at Walmart from 1996 to 2014, at Safeway from 2015 to 2019, at Dominos and McDonalds and Sonic from 2019 to present

Previous board experience:

  • The SAC (Salida Art Council ) member board
  • Member of the Recreation Advisory Committee for three years with the city of Salida

Key initiatives that pertain to HRRMC:

I would like to focus on hiring doctors to the hospital so we don’t have to fly patients out and upgrade Heart of the Rockies Regional Center. Also, I would like to have the CEO and the hospital let patients pick and choose their own doctors and let them have as many doctors as they want and not have doctors make patients sign behavior contracts in order to maintain services with them.  Getting more local family health care doctors to the Salida area and having more heart doctors and spending more money on hospital equipment getting a new CEO and terminating Mr. Morasko bettering HRRMC hiring practices so we can make it fair to everyone to get jobs.

Lydia Segal, M.D., MPH

Lydia Segal

Current occupation: Health counselor, with a focus is on men’s and women’s health (private practice)

Co-teacher for men’s and women’s health programs at HRRMC (volunteer)

COVID-19 Q&A columnist for local media (volunteer)

Education background: B.A., Journalism, University of Arizona; B.S., General Biology, University of Arizona; M.D., University of Arizona College of Medicine; MPH, Johns Hopkins University

Additional education:

Certification in Sexual Health Counseling, University of Michigan

Certification in Acupuncture, Helm’s Institute

Career experience:

Family Practice physician in Virginia and North Carolina – 35 years

Founded and chaired an Integrative Medicine Center for a large multi-specialty HMO – 10 years

Founded and lead a cognitive behavioral chronic pain program – 10 years

Consultant for program development in third world countries for global non-profits

General assignment reporter in Arizona – 2 years

Previous board experience:

  • Clinical Guidelines Committee;
  • Interdisciplinary Chronic Pain Committee; Chronic Disease Self Management Committee;
  • Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee;
  • Physician’s Wellness Committee;
  • Global Health Committee

Key initiatives that pertain to HRRMC:

  • Taking care of patients, not customers.
  • As a family physician, I’ve worked my entire career to ensure that care is tailored to people’s individual needs and goals. In that regard, my tenure on the board would encompass:
  • Focusing on the quality of care by medical, nursing, and allied health staff for improved patient outcomes
  • Increase the functionality of electronic medical record systems
  • Maximize telemedicine to improve access to health care to reach all people in the hospital district, especially those in remote and underserved areas
  • Enhance services for older persons to strive to be healthy
  • Maintain financial responsibility to enhance medical services
  • Expand community-based health education programs to educate and raise awareness of critical public and personal health issues.
  • Assess the needs of the community and develop services and programs to meet those needs.

Susan Dunn is the sole candidate for the single-year board term:

Susan Dunn

Current occupation: Business consultant

Education background: CPA, not currently in practice. B.S. in Accounting and Business Administration

Career experience:

Auditor and CPA, now a business consultant

Previous board experience:

  • Several years of serving on HOA Board
  • Chaffee County Council of the Arts Board

Key initiatives that pertain to HRRMC:

Housing, and the required resources involved with housing in Chaffee County.

Editor’s note: Each nominee was provided the same requirements and questions to answer. Responses are provided here verbatim, with the exception of slight corrections for spelling and grammar.

Featured image: The HRRMC entrance sign highlights the shortage of trained, skilled healthcare labor. Photo by Dan Smith.