Aspen Valley Hospital candidate questions: Part 1 | AspenTimes.com

Aspen Valley Hospital candidate questions: Part 1

Editor’s note: Seven candidates are vying for two seats on the Aspen Valley Hospital’s board of directors, one of which is held by incumbent Mindy Nagle. Ballots have been mailed to residents within the hospital district and must be returned by 7 p.m. May 3. They can either be mailed or dropped off at Aspen Valley Hospital, located at 401 Castle Creek Road. Today is the first in a multi-part series featuring questions for the candidates, whose answers are listed in alphabetical order by last name. Additionally, a candidates forum is set for 7:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, April 27) at Mountain Chalet in Aspen.

Name: Greg Balko, MD

Age: 47

Occupation: Emergency physician

Years in the Roaring Fork Valley: 17

Experience in health care/medicine/hospital management: Medical school, UT Southwestern-Dallas, 1991 to 1995; emergency medicine residency, Wake Forest University-Winston Salem, North Carolina, 1995 to 1998; emergency medicine attending physician, Aspen Valley Hospital, 1998 to present;

AVH Board of Directors, 2004 to 2008; AVH Medical Staff Development Committee, 2004 to 2012; AVH Medical Executive Committee, 2010 to present; AVH Department of Emergency Medicine chairman, 2010 to present; AVH Trauma Committee, 1998 to present; AVH Hospital Wide Quality Committee, 1999 to 2003; AVH Peer Review Committee, chairman, 1999 to 2003.

How satisfied are you with the level of patient care at Aspen Valley Hospital?

I answer this question by quoting the facts and the actual patient satisfaction scores. Patient satisfaction scores at AVH are exemplary and lead the nation. AVH consistently outscores area hospitals, as well as the Colorado and national average in all major categories. In fact, AVH has received the top performer award of all hospital by Avatar international four of the last eight years. Additionally, AVH is ranked in the 97th percentile by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through the Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems initiative. Healthgrades recently noted this accomplishment and recognized AVH as one of only five hospitals in Colorado to “make the grade.”

Name: Peter Hershberger

Age: 47

Occupation: Registered nurse and property manager

Years in the Roaring Fork Valley: 15 straight, but I have skied here for 45 years

Experience in health care/medicine/hospital management: I’ve been in health care for 25 years working in many different facilities including large Boston hospitals, and I was director of the world’s largest most reputable diabetes camp before moving to Aspen to manage the cardiology practice at AVH. Outside of health care, I have been the president of my homeowners association for 10 years protecting the value and providing financial stability for 100 free-market worker homes through the Great Recession. I have taught health in the local school system as well as coached winter sports and high school boys and girls tennis for AHS. I feel I know the health care needs of the locals both young and old as well as anybody in the valley.

How satisfied are you with the level of patient care at Aspen Valley Hospital?

I am both an employee and a patient. Having grown up with diabetes, I have lab work done each quarter and see my physician. I believe the hospital does many things as well as anybody in the business and has the Avatar scores to prove it. I believe, however, that there is always room for improvement. As we have seen in the recent past, less than desirable practitioners, managers and other staff have been allowed to linger because of friendships, marriages and the likes. This has to stop. When the board or management has a conflict of interest, that person needs to step out of the way of great care. We are a very small community, thus conflicts of interest abound, but outstanding patient care must come first.

Name: Michael Lyons

Age: 44

Occupation: Firefighter, paramedic, photographer, property manager

Years in the Roaring Fork Valley: I was born and raised here in Aspen, so more than 40 years.

Experience in health care/medicine/hospital management: I have been a firefighter for more than 17 years and a paramedic for nearly 10. I have taken patients to hospitals all across this state and helped many people in our community on their worst day. This has given me a broad and diverse viewpoint that will benefit our community if I am elected to serve on the board. This is a community hospital, and it should be led by community members. I live, work and am raising a family here.

How satisfied are you with the level of patient care at Aspen Valley Hospital? Aspen Valley Hospital has an amazing team of medical professionals — doctors, nurses, and technicians — who are not afraid to stand next to their fellow citizens during that citizen’s worst day. They will work hard for you to set you on a path for healing. The trouble comes in for most of us after leaving the hospital. That is the part that leaves a lasting impression. Hospital billing is controlled by a company based in Mumbai, India, that doesn’t understand our community and individual needs here. Elect me to bring a more local focus to the hospital.

Name: Mindy Nagle, MD

Age: 48

Occupation: Physician

Years in the Roaring Fork Valley: 1990 to 1993 and then 2001 to present

Experience in health care/medicine/hospital management: I have been a practicing OB/GYN physician in the valley and at AVH for 15 years. I have served on the Medical Executive Committee for five years and have been on the AVH Board of Directors for eight years

How satisfied are you with the level of patient care at Aspen Valley Hospital? The patient care at AVH is outstanding. The hospital continues to rank in the highest percentiles nationally. The dedication of the staff at AVH to patient care, satisfaction and safety is unmatched.

Name: Joseph Nedlin

Age: 74

Occupation: Retired

Years in the Roaring Fork Valley: 36

Experience in health care/medicine/hospital management: I have served for 20 years on the board of trustees of a major New York City hospital in numerous capacities. I have experienced and been hands-on involved in every facet of how a hospital operates. This experience has given me a unique and invaluable view in being able to discern the uniqueness of AVH and how best to proceed in its best interests.

How satisfied are you with the level of patient care at Aspen Valley Hospital? I have used Aspen Valley Hospital in a number of different ways and have had only good experiences. I believe that the staff is professional and the facility is first rate.

Name: Rudi Scheidt

Age: 59

Occupation: Entrepreneur, concentration in finance

Years in the Roaring Fork Valley: 17

Experience in health care/medicine/hospital management: Newly appointed member of the audit committee for the Aspen Valley Hospital

How satisfied are you with the level of patient care at Aspen Valley Hospital? For the past 17 years, my family’s experiences with the Aspen Valley Hospital have been exceptional. My concern is for those whose experiences have not been as good as ours.

Name: Eric Willsky, MD

Age: 64

Occupation: Physician/anesthesiologist

Years in the Roaring Fork Valley: 27

Experience in health care/medicine/hospital management: 27 years as a hospital based physician at AVH, seeing what worked and what didn’t, being around and listening to hospital staff issues and views. Co-chair and primary contact of an earlier CEO search, recruiting Michael Kerr who was largely responsible for the most significant hospital turnaround since I have been here. Assisted in the successful development of our CEO residence which allows for the recruitment of high-quality CEOs. Past president of the local Medical Society, covering Aspen to Rifle. Past chief of the medical staff at Aspen Valley Hospital. Past chairman of the all-important Medical Staff Development Committee.

How satisfied are you with the level of patient care at Aspen Valley Hospital? The level of patient care is excellent. The scope of services could be expanded.

rcarroll@aspentimes.com


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.



News


See more