Five vie for hospital board |

Five vie for hospital board

Eben Harrell
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Five candidates will run for two seats on Aspen Valley Hospital’s board of directors in a highly anticipated election in May.

Incumbent board member Bob D’Alessio will face off against Richard Jacobs, Barry Mink, Greg Balko and Peter Nicklin on the May 4 ballot.

The election comes at a time of great change at AVH. The current board is struggling to deal with crucial issues of overcrowding and financial strain. In the coming months, the board will appoint a new CEO, implement cost-cutting measures, oversee renovations, consider building a new hospital and negotiate with a major New York hospital in an attempt to establish AVH as a “destination” orthopedic center.

Board members Bob D’Alessio and Morris Cohen reach the end of their terms in May. Cohen is not running for re-election. A hospital board term is four years; there are no limits on the number of terms a board member can serve.

“It’s just time for me to step down,” Cohen said yesterday. “I’ve been doing this now for eight years. It’s time for some new blood.”

For years, hospital board candidates have run unopposed. That changed in 2002, when seven candidates vied for three spots in an election that saw a record number of voters. John Sarpa was the leading vote-getter with 1,229 votes. By comparison, the top vote-getter in the May 2000 hospital board election received 524 votes.

Of the five candidates, three are doctors. Mink is a longtime internist at Aspen Internal Medicine. Balko, a Basalt resident, is an emergency room specialist, and Jacobs, who moved to Aspen from Miami in 2000, is a former physician turned hospital administrator.

Nicklin could not be reached before press time.

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