Three vie for two seats on Aspen Valley Hospital District Board |

Three vie for two seats on Aspen Valley Hospital District Board

Three candidates are running for two open seats, each serving four-year terms, on the Aspen Valley Hospital District Board. 

Dr. Greg Balko is an emergency physician with 25 years at the hospital and a member of the board.

Dr. Robert Hutton served as chief of the emergency department at his former hospital and chief of staff of the Ascension St. Thomas Midtown Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Mindy Nagle is an OB/GYN physician at All Valley Women’s Care, in practice in the Roaring Fork Valley since 2001. She is the president of the hospital board.

We asked each candidate the following questions:

What makes you uniquely qualified for the board position?

Balko: “I’m a board-certified emergency physician and I have lived in the valley and practiced medicine at AVH for 25 years. Working at AVH has provided me with the opportunity to keep a finger on the pulse of the hospital. I initially joined the board in 2004, when the hospital was on the brink of financial insolvency. We brought in a new executive team led by Dave Resler. Since then, we have restored financial security to the organization. I have the experience and knowledge necessary to continue to serve as an elected official to the Hospital Board. If re-elected, I will continue to bring the expertise to all the issues that affect our hospital with an eye towards how to best serve our patients and maintain our community’s health and wellness.”

Dr. Greg Balko
Courtesy Greg Balko, MD

Hutton: “In addition to working as a medical doctor for over 40 years, I also have significant administrative and managerial experience having served as chief of staff of a major metropolitan hospital, head of emergency medicine and I served on the board of directors. I also owned and operated five urgent care centers, so I have a keen understanding of alternative ways to improve access to quality health care for all and, at the same time, control costs. Working alongside the highly qualified staff at AVH and the current board, I can bring a new perspective to the challenges the AVH team is addressing.”

Nagle: “I feel my experience having served on the board for over 15 years makes me uniquely qualified to remain in the role. I am also a full-time physician at the hospital and in the community which I feel is important to maintain a patient centered approach.”

What makes you want to serve the Aspen community?

Balko: “I believe in serving my community. I work here and have raised my family here and it was logical for me to serve on a volunteer board. Initially, my motivation to serve was to help the hospital through its financial crisis. I continue to want to serve because I enjoy working with my fellow board members as we help guide the hospital into the future. I strongly believe in the mission of the hospital and in the work we still have to do.”

Hutton: “It was my dream to live in Aspen since I was 18 years old, I found my wife here 30 years ago, and have had a home here ever since. I am an enthusiastic cyclist and skier, and while I am very proud to have just earned my first 100-day skier pin this season, it would be my privilege and honor to serve on this board and use my experience and experience to give what I can back to this community.”

Dr. Mindy Nagle
Aspen Valley Hospital/Courtesy photo

Nagle: “I believe AVH is the most important community asset and making sure health care is accessible to all remains a goal of the board both in the hospital and in outpatient settings.”

What do you see as the biggest challenge for the hospital?

Balko: “Externally, there are several challenges facing the hospital, the biggest, staffing and economic pressures to the point where more than 50% of the hospitals in Colorado are facing unsustainable operating margins. Second, pressures on health-care costs are real and we have been on the forefront of health-care reform through our involvement through the Valley Health Alliance, as we continue to improve access to health care and increase insurance coverage in our community. Internally, we have the same challenges that other employers in this valley are also facing: workforce and housing. The board recently approved a 10-year housing strategy with the goal of housing 50% of our workforce.”

Dr. Robert Hutton
Courtesy of Robert Hutton, MD

Hutton: “Overall, the quality and safety at AVH are excellent, but of course there is always room for improvement. As with every organization, there are real challenges with staff retention, which are largely related to housing. There are opportunities to creatively expand services and access to underserved members of the community. And there is a growing need to increase efforts to address mental health issues in the valley.”

Nagle: “Health care continues to face numerous challenges. Focusing on population health which provides best care but also manages cost as well as possible are AVH board goals. We continue to work with the Valley Health Alliance, which Includes all the major employers in the valley to address these concerns. Legislative bodies are also embarking on ways to confront health-care costs. This Includes Colorado as a board and a hospital we need to stay abreast of these changes given our unique rural setting which us unique to the bigger city and health care systems  Lastly, as all of Aspen is facing is the housing crisis, which is not new but accelerated over the last few years, housing our employees at all levels is a focus for our board and AVH.”

Registered voters can vote by mail or in-person. Voters can mail or drop off their ballot that was mailed to them at the official Aspen Valley Hospital District drop box in the hospital’s East Entrance vestibule. Ballots must be received by 7 p.m. on Election Day, May 2. the drop box is open 24 hours day and is for Aspen Valley Hospital election ballots only.