AVH board president Haynes touts experience, cohesiveness | AspenTimes.com

AVH board president Haynes touts experience, cohesiveness

Naomi Havlen

Editor’s note: This is the first profile of the eight candidates running in the Aspen Valley Hospital board of directors election. Three incumbents and five challengers are running for three seats. The election is May 7.

Meg Haynes, 58, has been the president of Aspen Valley Hospital’s board of directors for the past eight years – a position that board members elect among themselves once a year. She was first elected to the board nine years ago.

“I think they have recognized that I have some ability to listen carefully to diverse opinions,” she said. “I have a passionate commitment to AVH, and I think my record shows that.”

A strategic planning consultant, Haynes works for a global Fortune 500 company, helping develop business plans, restructuring and organizational issues. Haynes and her husband have three grown children and have lived in the Roaring Fork Valley for 15 years.

Haynes’ record with the board of directors includes increasing gross patient revenues from $17 million to $54 million in the past nine years and increasing hospital services 30 percent. She also pointed to the hospital’s strategic plan, including development of services in the midvalley, including the Mid Valley Medical Center.

“I am proud of what we’ve done with those things, however, I really, really hope to be re-elected so that we can complete these key initiatives,” she said.

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In the future, Haynes said she looks forward to seeing the community health plan – a more affordable insurance plan for small businesses in the community – come to fruition. Although Phase I and II of the hospital’s remodel have been completed, Haynes said the board is nearing completion of Phase III with architects, as well as negotiations with the city and county.

While the issue of overly complicated billing has been at the forefront of community complaints, Haynes said the board helped facilitate a community task force on the subject. The recommendation from the task force – a product called Smart Bills – may be implemented.

Haynes, who is running for her position on the board along with incumbents Chuck Torinus and Tom Griffiths, said there is strength in the working relationship the trio has developed in the past nine years.

“I’m so please we have such an excellent team among the board members now,” she said. “We work so well with the hospital’s staff and administration that I think to continue working so well together is just a huge positive. We each have skills that compliment one another, and we each bring very key unique skills [to the board].”

At a recent forum for the candidates, the current board was criticized for a lack of accountability and general response to the public.

“My question is, please tell me specifically how,” Haynes said. “We have a list of 29 external agencies that oversee us and absolutely take every possible way of looking at accountability. The hospital finance committee is made of community citizens who are CPAs and accountants that objectively review our finances once a month. The management staff development committee assesses health care needs and makes recommendations, and we act accordingly.”

Haynes said she thinks the number of people running for the board this year indicates that candidates want to join the board in its “good work.”

“It’s interesting that a majority of people running have all said that [the board] is doing an excellent job,” she said.