AVH’s directors-elect await certification of election results | AspenTimes.com

AVH’s directors-elect await certification of election results

Monday’s scheduled swearing-in of three directors on the Aspen Valley Hospital board was postponed because the results of the May 3 election were awaiting certification.

The delay didn’t affect the complexion of the board, however: The three directors-elect are also incumbents.

“Board election results will be certified on Friday,” said AVH election official Andrea Shaffran during the board’s monthly meeting held over Zoom. The officers must also take their oaths in person, Shaffran said, noting that will happen at the June board meeting.

Votes still to be tallied include mail-in ballot arrivals that were postmarked in time to be counted, she said.

Re-elected to the board were Chuck Frias with 1,153 votes, Lee Schumaker with 1,108 and David Eisenstat with 991. The single challenger, Michael Buysse, had 372 votes, according to the unofficial results.

AVH board seats have three-year terms and no term limits.

Frias, Schumaker and Eisenstat round out a board that includes Drs. Melinda Nagle and Greg Balko. All five were on the board during the height of the pandemic; the recent election results signaled the community’s vote of confidence in the directors, said Eisenstat and Schumaker.

Frias also said, “I’m very glad to serve and would also like to say I believe we have a very high functioning and very experienced and balanced board, and it has done a good job supporting the executive team, which we’re lucky to have. Thanks to all the voters for their support.”

Hospital CEO David Ressler also gave props to Shaffran for her first go as the AVH election official.

“She learned what all the requirements are and executed that election process flawlessly,“ Ressler said. ”And that really took a lot of work on her part. She took the responsibility, and that rested entirely on her shoulders.“

In other AVH news:

• The first quarter of 2022 saw near across-the-board increases in patient activity at AVH, Ressler said during his CEO update to the board.

“That first quarter (in 2021) was pretty significantly impaired by the pandemic,” he said. “As we entered 2022 with our restrictions having been lifted … now we’re getting a true picture of the sort of post-COVID, the post-COVID hangover, so we’re up 18% over our COVID-impaired year last year.”

Ressler was referring to the first-quarter increase in hospital admissions over the same period during the 2021 calendar year.

Elsewhere, deliveries were up 6.7% from January through March compared to the same period last year; emergency room visits shot up 28.8%; surgeries increased 11.7%; outpatient visits fell 5.3%; the average length of stay dropped 15.1%; clinic registrations rose 24%; and primary care business saw a 12.5% boost, according to Ressler.

“That increase was really driven by our January levels of activity,” Ressler said, noting it was “probably related to omicron (the COVID-19 variant), so we had a lot of people coming to our primary care practice for tests and vaccinations.”

• AVH will host its health fairs Nov. 10, 11 and 12 at the Aspen hospital and Nov. 13 at the El Jebel Community Center. Blood draws are available by appointment only. More details will be forthcoming at aspenhospital.org.