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Meet the candidates for Lake Chelan Hospital Board of Commissioners, positions #01 and #05

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(Photo by GoLakeChelan.com)

The upcoming Special Primary Election is on August 1, 2017, and will see six candidates vying for TWO positions on the Hospital District 2, Lake Chelan Community Hospital Board of Commissioners. Three candidates have filed for Position #01, and three candidates filed for Position #05

The goal of the Special Primary Election is to help narrow down the three candidates to just the top two. GoLakeChelan.com asked each candidate a selection of questions. Ballots were mailed out by the Chelan County Auditor’s office on Friday, July 14, so all voters in the district should have received their ballots by now. Primary election ballots must be dropped in a ballot box by 8 p.m. or postmarked by August 1, 2017.

Lake Chelan Hospital Board, Position #01 is currently held by Mary Signorelli, who is running for reelection. She is challenged by candidates Stan Morse and Jeremy Jaech.

Lake Chelan Hospital Board Position #05 is currently held by Phyllis Gleasman who is also running for reelection. She is challenged by candidates Kathy Jo Porter and Jerry Isenhart.

Meet the Candidates

Hospital District #2, Lake Chelan Hospital Commissioner #01 (Non-partisan office held for a six-year term)

Stan Morse. (Provided by Stan Morse)

Stan Morse

Age:  62

Experience and Background: I have a lifelong connection to this community, back to the time when I was born in the “old” Chelan Valley Community Hospital in 1954.

Why are you running for Lake Chelan Community Hospital Commissioner?

I have the skill, training, and willingness to ask the hard questions, and do the research necessary to find the truth. I want our hospital to be successful. But I don’t necessarily assume that everything we have been told is the full story.

What unique qualities would you bring to the Board?

Experience in challenging authority, both as a former Chelan City Council member, and as a lawyer of 37 years who is unafraid to challenge assumptions. You’ll never find me “going with the flow” just because that’s what I’ve been told to do.

How will you make a positive impact during the construction process of the new hospital in Chelan?

I’ll leave no stone unturned, and will keep management on their toes.

What do you think are the most vital issues for healthcare in the Lake Chelan Valley, and how will you address those issues?

Ensuring that our hospital remains solvent. As a board member, I won’t rest until I am certain I know the entire story, and that what is being proposed is the best path towards ensuring that our hospital is successful.

Contact Information:

stanmorse.com

stan@stanmorse.com

Mary Signorelli. (Provided by Mary Signorelli)

Mary Signorelli

Age: 70

Background and Experience:  I grew up in Southwest Louisiana, graduated High School,  attended College graduating with a BA in Philosophy and Theology. I worked as an educator for 15 years in Mississippi, Louisiana, Olympia, WA and Seattle, WA before earning my MA in Business Administration. I moved to Chelan in 1986 when I purchased and managed a 6,000 sq. ft retail furniture business for 24 years. I continued retail sales in Chelan for 2 years as owner of a Consignment furniture store while I acquired my Realtors license for WA State. I have been a Realtor since 2012, I was elected to serve as Hospital Commissioner position 1 in 2011.

The past 6 years, I have worked with my fellow commissioners and the hospital administration to provide stable operations. During my time on the Board we have acquired the Lake Chelan Medical Clinic, operated in the black with sound Strategic Planning and secured your YES vote to move forward with a new Hospital. We have maintained patient-centered healing and wellness opportunities with care, compassion and dignity.

I have participated in a number of volunteer capacities, including the Wenatchee Downtown Association, Wenatchee Chamber of Commerce, Greater Wenatchee Visitor Board, Wenatchee Historic Board, Wenatchee City Advisory Committees, Allied Arts, Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce, Chelan Museum and Chelan Arts Council.

Why are you running for Lake Chelan Community Hospital Commissioner?

As a Commissioner, I have been given many learning opportunities through seminars, conferences and workshops throughout the State. This, I see as very valuable on the job training. Training that involves the most current issues facing Health Care by some of the most qualified experts throughout the world. Our Hospital District is a small player in comparison to our neighbors to the South and West of us. Size, I have learned, is not the definitive factor, not when you can utilize and partner with those Health Care giants and use their knowledge and equipment to assist in our operations and diagnosis, resulting in lives being saved. Working on the inside you come to see and value the good that comes from so much works and effort.  There is less tendency to criticize and more eagerness to know more and do more for those on the front lines.

What unique qualities would you bring to the Board?

I feel that it is important not just for me but for our Community to re-elect me as Commissioner, position #1, I know I bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Board room. I have served as Chair of the Commission for the last two years and I have a firm grasp of the issues we face as a Hospital District.

How will you make a positive impact during the construction process of the new hospital in Chelan?

This is a critical time for us as we embark on the building of our new Hospital. We have begun this project, the USDA loan application has begun, we are putting all of the necessary pieces in place and yes there is a process and it all takes time and professionals who know how to build Hospitals. Our team of professionals consist of Project Managers, Architects, Contractors, Accountants, just to name a few. Overseeing all of this and working  to assure a sound investment for our community are your Commissioners, Administration and Staff.  As we move forward we will be calling on you our Community members to be another set of eyes. You are an integral part of this building project. We wouldn’t be here without you, and we want and need you with us as decisions are made.

What do you think are the most vital issues for healthcare in the Lake Chelan Valley, and how will you address those issues?

Like any job of substance being a hospital commissioner requires hard work and dedication. It takes time and concentration to learn the Medical language, the acronyms, all of the terminology, the personnel, the many systems that all work together to form this complex we call our Hospital and Clinic. It’s many relationships and it produces one of the greatest services we all at one time or another may need: Quality Health Care.  In a very succinct phrase that is what this job is all about.  All of the other pieces of the workings of the Hospital and Clinic are means to an end and that end ultimately is to provide the best Health Care in our Community possible. The second most important part of that equation is to provide that care with compassion and respect for the patient.

Contact Information:

Facebook Re-elect Mary Signorelli

ReElectMarySignorelli@gmail.com

Phone: (509) 670-4972

Jeremy Jaech. (Provided by Jeremy Jaech)

Jeremy Jaech

Age: 62

Experience and Background:  Professional Experience:  Entrepreneur with experience co-founding five companies, including Aldus Corporation (1984-1989). Visio Corporation (1990-2000), Trumba Corporation (2003-2008), SNUPI Technologies (2012-2015), and Harmony Meadows Tennis & Event Center (2015-present).

Education:  Bachelor’s degree in mathematics (1977) and Master’s degree in computer science (1980) from the University of Washington.

Community Service:  Pacific Northwest Ballet board (1996-2002), Washington Technology Center trustee (1998-2002), Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center board (1998-2004), Clean Energy Leadership Council member (2009-2010), National Parks Foundation board (2010-2011), Technology Alliance board president (1996-2000) and chair (2008-2011), University of Washington regent (2012-present).

Why are you running for Lake Chelan Community Hospital Commissioner?

I’m running for Hospital Commissioner because I believe my experience as a Regent for the University of Washington uniquely qualifies me for this position. Now that I am a full-time resident of Chelan Valley, I would like to contribute my expertise to health care in the valley at a critical time for our hospital with the recent passage of the bond issue and the coming construction of a new facility.

What unique qualities would you bring to the Board?

I am the only person among the current commissioners and candidates with experience overseeing the construction of new facilities using the General Contractor / Construction Manager method, which is the method chosen by the hospital to build its new hospital. 

How will you make a positive impact during the construction process of the new hospital in Chelan?

I am the only person among the current commissioners and candidates with experience overseeing the construction of new facilities using the General Contractor / Construction Manager method, which is the method chosen by the hospital to build its new hospital.  The UW uses this method for almost all of its new buildings, and as Chair of the Finance and Asset Management committee of the Board of Regents, I have considerable experience with this construction method.

The responsibility of the hospital commissioners is the build the best hospital we can with the money available through the bond issuance.  We can’t afford to get this wrong.

What do you think are the most vital issues for healthcare in the Lake Chelan Valley, and how will you address those issues?

The most vital issues facing healthcare are the changing nature of reimbursement for care by Medicare, the uncertainty over Medicaid, and increasing networking of healthcare providers into larger systems.

Medicare is continuing to move their reimbursement methods away from pay-for-transaction to pay-for-value.  Essentially, hospitals used to be paid to keep patients in, and now will be paid for keeping patients out.  I would work with the hospital administration to develop wellness programs for the community, to engage other organizations who interact with at-risk populations to be the eyes and ears of the hospital to get people care before they are too sick, and to continue to provide as much care as possible in clinic settings.

The future role of rural hospitals like ours is to become the emergency and primary care providers for those in our community, to connect those patients with issues we cannot effectively treat with experts within our network and to track their care, and to provide recovery and rehabilitation services to those patients when they return to us.  Failure to understand this coming dynamic will be catastrophic if we build the wrong facility or lose the revenue stream to pay for it.

Contact Information:

Jeremy@jaech.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeremyjaechforcommissioner/

www.jeremyjaech.com

Hospital District #2, Lake Chelan Hospital Commissioner #05 (Non-partisan office held for a six-year term)

Kathy Jo Porter. (Provided by Kathy Jo Porter)

Kathy Jo Porter

Age: 58

Experience and Background:  I have been a business owner since 2003 and currently I’m a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Lake Chelan Properties and serve as the 2017 President of the Lake Chelan Realtor’s Council. With my business background, I am able to easily navigate financial reports and make sound decisions based on that data, which is a large part of the fiduciary duty that the Board of Commissioners is tasked with. 

Why are you running for Lake Chelan Community Hospital Commissioner?

I was involved in the campaign to pass the hospital bond but I felt the divide among our community surrounding the issue.  My mission is to bring us back together as a community and make decisions that benefit everyone in the hospital district without a political agenda driving my opinions.  This is a critical time that will dictate healthcare in the valley for years to come and I am enthused to be a part of that process. 

What unique qualities would you bring to the Board?

I have many unique qualities!  But the one that I can bring to the board that will be especially beneficial is the ability to listen and make sound decisions that are based on one thing, and that is bringing the highest quality of healthcare to the citizens of the hospital district.  The Board of Commissioners has the arduous responsibility now to steward the public’s money in the construction of the new hospital to that end and I am confident that I am up to the task.

How will you make a positive impact during the construction process of the new hospital in Chelan?

I have experience in project management and the ability to analyze projected costs and anticipate any overruns before they become an issue.  It’s vital that the hospital stays on track financially as we have a budget that needs to be adhered to.  Continuing to keep the hospital in a strong financial position during this process is critical, so it will involve not only overseeing those expenses but the overall financial viability of the hospital as it operates during the construction period.

What do you think are the most vital issues for healthcare in the Lake Chelan Valley, and how will you address those issues?

This is the most important question, I believe, because the nature of how rural hospitals are reimbursed by government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid is changing and has the potential to change in the future.  We must stay in front of the trend that focuses on wellness and preventative care versus inpatient care, which will ultimately result in a healthy population and a financially healthy hospital. 

Contact Information:

kathyjo@cbchelan.com 

https://www.facebook.com/kathyjo.porter

https://www.facebook.com/LakeChelanRealEstateByKathyJoPorter/

Jerry Isenhart. (Provided by Jerry Isenhart)

Jerry Isenhart

Age​:  72 ​

Experience and Background:  Owned and Operated KOZI AM/FM for 30 years (1969-1999), Launched and operated GoLakeChelan.com (2001-2014), City Councilman for 2 terms in the 70’s and early 80’s, Mayor of Chelan (1985-1988), Director – Lake Chelan School Board (2004-2008). Wenatchee High, Wenatchee Valley College (1964), ​BA in Journalism and Broadcast Communications, WSU (1967).

Why are you running for Lake Chelan Community Hospital Commissioner?

I love my ​​community and my experience as a journalist has often placed me in the middle of community discussions. As a candidate, ​ I am offering to contribute my experience and skills to the ​c​ommunity to bring us together ​to build and support a viable ​​Health Care Campus​ for the ​c​itizens of the ​v​alley.

My candidacy is a very personal decision to ​give back; to ​s​ay ​”​Thank You​”​ for all that the community has given ​our family. I am not running against anyone. I am running for everyone.

What unique qualities would you bring to the Board?

Recently, I have had two occasions to experience, first hand, the services of the Lake Chelan Hospital. And as I write these words, I still don’t know if I can ever say a big enough ​”​Thank You​” ​​for the support ​our family received through very difficult times. Serving as a contributing and grateful member of the ​Hospital Board of Commissioners​ is one way I could say “Thank You”.

How will you make a positive impact during the construction process of the new hospital in Chelan?

I’d like to see the day when our ​​Community Hospital​ can pass funding propositions with an 85% (or more) ​’​Yes​’​ vote. I believe it can be done. And with the construction of new facilities at Apple Blossom Center now a reality, this is a perfect time to participate with the other ​commission ​m​embers and ​h​ospital ​administration to assure that our ​medical campus​​ stays viable ​for decades to come.

What do you think are the most vital issues for healthcare in the Lake Chelan Valley, and how will you address those issues?

Working together I know we can create a solid medical campus and complex that can survive the changing health care regulations that are sure to be coming.

Contact Information:

​www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008582802934

www.facebook.com/Jerry.Isenhart.LCCH.Commissioner.Candidate/

Phyllis Gleasman. (Provided by Phyllis Gleasman)

Phyllis Gleasman

Age:  73

Experience and Background:  I worked at Chelan Fruit Cooperative for a career of 35 years of employment. I am also an orchardist in the Lake Chelan Valley  and owns/manages 70 acres of apples.

I have served on a number of Boards including: Wenatchee Valley College Board of Trustees, Farm Service Agency, Washington Growers Clearinghouse Board of Directors, Washington AgForestry Leadership Foundation Board.

I am a member of a number local organizations and have service records on some of their Boards: Lake Chelan Community Hospital Foundation, Treasurer, Lake Chelan Community Hospital Board of Commissioners (current), Lake Chelan Rotary Member, Chelan Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

Why are you running for Lake Chelan Community Hospital Commissioner?

The current hospital has reached financial feasibility for upgrading.  Also changing demographics of the valley indicate a need to upgrade the types of medical services offered which cannot be done in the current configuration of the hospital. Thank you voters for realizing the challenges and are willing to help make the change. I have been involved since the first campaign and want to be part of completing that effort. LCCHC has been there for three generations of my family and a hospital that provides a quality work environment for staff and more advanced technology is my way of giving back so that future generations will have quality care for everyone.

What unique qualities would you bring to the Board?

I have served on multiple committees and recognize the importance of gathering and reviewing information prior to developing a consensus of the group. Equally important is patience and willing to listen to all input prior to decision making.

How will you make a positive impact during the construction process of the new hospital in Chelan?

I have been a member of the LCCHC Facility Committee since its inception in 2015 therefore have had the opportunity to receive input from the public and staff. Also my family has received care at the hospital so I have seen some of the challenges, first hand, that staff are confronted with. Weighing the concerns and experiences will provide a broad spectrum of what services will provide the quality of care needed for everyone.

We were a construction family for 20 years and had the challenge of finding quality health care at each location. Residents and visitors should not have to make a choice as a medical campus will provide whatever care is needed. I also had the opportunity to participate in establishing an urgent care facility in a rural community in Arizona. The nearest care was 20 miles away and with a grade school in the area, the lack of medical services was worrisome. I was chairperson of the group and with dedicated parents the clinic came to fruition.

What do you think are the most vital issues for healthcare in the Lake Chelan Valley, and how will you address those issues?

There are two vital issues that are foremost: emergency care and geriatrics. More and more tourist activities are being scheduled for the valley and impact the emergency department. What is the most effective and efficient manner of treating these patients? Senior citizens are the largest populist of the service area. How can the local medical staff provide better services so that seniors can receive the care they need and still be close to home? These issues can be addressed by receiving input from the medical staff and residences – listening! – the most valuable of all qualities.

Contact information:

Facebook page: Re-Elect Phyllis Gleasman 

Phone: (509) 670-1645 

Email: manzana@nwi.net

(By Jillian Foster)

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