12 vying for four seats on Grand River district board | PostIndependent.com

12 vying for four seats on Grand River district board

Registered voters living in the Grand River Hospital District will cast their votes at three polling places on Tuesday for the hospital district’s board of directors.

This year, 12 candidates are vying for four available seats on the seven-member board. Each board term is for four years, with a two-term limit.

The district’s board members must be elected since the hospital district is a special tax district, similar to a school or fire district.

The hospital district, in place since 1961, runs from New Castle to the Utah border in Garfield County and a small part of Mesa County.

The Grand River Hospital District operates three health care facilities:

– Battlement Mesa Medical Center provides full-time primary care, part-time specialist care and physical therapy in Parachute.

– E. Dene Moore Care Center is a 57-bed long-term care facility in Rifle.

– The new Grand River Medical Center in Rifle offers primary care, specialist care, a 24/7 emergency department, inpatient and outpatient surgery, acute care, physical and occupational therapy, diagnostic imaging including MRI and CT scan, and other hospital services.

The board candidates are:

Kirk H. Beattie

Background: 10 years in community, currently a wildlife consultant

Hospital district philosophy: “I want to see budget guidance, personnel management and attention paid to adaptive technologies. Technology is advancing faster than our ability to use it.

“I believe we need to plan for the unintended consequences of our decisions. In addition, I believe finances, providing optimum patient care, and enhancing community-hospital relations are three of the most important issues facing this board.”

Carolyn Bernhardt

Background: Real estate broker in Garfield County since 1975, co-owner of Century 21 Rifle Brokers LLC; president of Rifle Rotary in 1996; Rifle Chamber Person of the Year in 1994

Hospital district philosophy: “A health care system in a community our size may not be able to be everything to everybody, but it should be able to provide for basic family health care and its common related areas of care.

“One of the most important features of a desirable community is an adequate health care system, not only in terms of professional, well-trained doctors and staff, but in terms of modern technology.”

Betty Clifford

Background: One-term incumbent, 21-year career as a Navy nurse, former employee of Clagett Memorial Hospital.

Hospital district philosophy: “The last four years on the Grand River Hospital Board of Directors has been eventful with the building of the new Medical Center in South Rifle. For the first time in many years we are operating in the black and paying our bills.

“My vision for the district is adequate, affordable, accessible, acceptable health care for all residents of the district.”

Paul C. Cornett

Background: Electrical engineer with 35 years of business experience, currently a consultant for defense marketing.

Hospital district philosophy: “I’d like to see a more focused approach in district operations, including timelines, and a real honest-to-goodness strategic plan.

“The district’s three most important issues are accounts receivable, finding our right niche, and serving people who can’t pay ” and that doesn’t mean just the poor. Many people don’t have health insurance, which needs to be addressed.

“The district should provide quality, affordable health care to our constituents.”

Kip D. Costanzo

Background: Lifelong Rifle resident, owner/operator of Stampfel Construction Co., Rifle Fire Department member since 1981.

Hospital district philosophy: “My concern for the hospital district stems both from being a patient over the years and transporting people to the hospital, many of whom I knew personally and want to see get the best care possible.

“I have had a wonderful opportunity over the years to get to know personally the doctors, nurses, and staff at the hospital and would like to see this community retain the best medical staff it possibly can.”

Tamara M. Degler

Background: Registered nurse for 17 years, including five years as a Navy nurse, 25 years of management experience in medical settings.

Hospital district philosophy: “Our community should feel that their first choice for health care is our local hospital, because they know they are getting outstanding health care and customer service.

“The location of the new hospital, off of I-70, provides an outstanding location and possibility that we can become a medical hub between Denver and Grand Junction. This community is growing and the hospital needs to grow with it.”

Cynthia J. George

Background: Former employee of the hospital district, now employed at Crossroads Assisted Living in Rifle.

Hospital district philosophy: “While we would all like to have every possible service available at the new medical center, it simply is not feasible. Because of the health care system in this country, we must, like most other hospitals, be niche providers.

“We must determine the services that are most needed, and at the same time will not bankrupt the hospital district.

“E. Dene Moore has been a stable resource for the hospital district. We must ensure that we have planned for the future and have the resources available to provide the best possible care for today and tomorrow’s elderly.”

Robert J. Miller

Background: U.S. Forest Service for 39 years, now a real estate broker in Rifle and Glenwood Springs, GRHD board member for past three years.

Hospital district philosophy: “The district should provide quality health care to hospital patients and long-term care residents with state-of-the-art facilities at costs comparable to similar rural health care providers.

“As the district’s finances and opportunities are available, it should obtain new technology and additional specialists.”

Mike Mosby

Background: Semi-retired after 34 years in the hospital industry, including management for the nuclear medicine division of Siemens Medical systems, volunteer EMT, Garfield County Search and Rescue.

Hospital district philosophy: “I see affordable health care for all and a place our children’s children can be born and cared for.

“I see our reputation, pricing, and how we handle insurance carriers as the three important issues facing the board. The present board has done a very good job. I want to help make this the best little hospital in Colorado.”

Samuel B. Potter

Background: One-term incumbent, son of a doctor and nurse; Rulison rancher.

Hospital district philosophy: “My interest in remaining on the board is very simple: Great progress has been made ” operating in the black after years of deficits and our fantastic new facility ” but also the sense of pride and community ownership that has come with our new medical center.

“My vision for the district is provide the best quality health care for our residents as can be found in a qualified facility of our size.”

Don D. Prentice

Background: 30 years in government and education at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Health Academy, a public school program introducing students to health care careers.

Hospital district philosophy: “My experience as a consultant is extensive, backed by direct responsibilities to make complex systems work in operations down to the complete detail.

“My experience and expertise are right in line with the challenges facing the district. I can make a useful contribution.”

Dr. Jose Luis Rodriguez

Background: Retired board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon, staff physician at Clagett Memorial Hospital for 17 years, chief of surgery for three years, retired from Colorado Army National Guard, veteran of Desert Storm.

Hospital district philosophy: “I want to increase the availability of services, especially relating to emergency care, as well as increase the volume of surgical procedures and admissions to the hospital, diminishing the need to transfer patients to other facilities.”

” Donna Gray, editor of the Rifle Citizen Telegram, contributed to this article.

Contact Carrie Click: 945-8515, ext. 518



– Rifle City Hall, 202 Railroad Ave.

– Silt Community Center, 452 Grand Ave.

– Parachute Town Offices, 222 Grand Valley Way

Polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 4

Voters have until 4:30 p.m. today to vote absentee at the Grand River Medical Center, 501 Airport Road, Rifle.

Information: Becky Homan, 625-6406

– Rifle City Hall, 202 Railroad Ave.

– Silt Community Center, 452 Grand Ave.

– Parachute Town Offices, 222 Grand Valley Way

Polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 4

Voters have until 4:30 p.m. today to vote absentee at the Grand River Medical Center, 501 Airport Road, Rifle.

Information: Becky Homan, 625-6406

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