Years of residence in Bonner County: Native of North Idaho, 30 years in Bonner County
How can the public contact you? [email protected]
• Education: North Idaho College
• Pertinent employment history that provides you with relevant experience for this office:
Pertinent employment history that provides you with relevant experience for this office: 30 years of marketing, branding and production experience across multiple media platforms. I have worked for Blue Sky Broadcasting in Sandpoint as both a full-time employee and independent contractor for 29 years.
• Nonprofit groups, service or professional organizations to which you belong: Eureka Institute
Board of Directors 2017-2018
• Other experiences or skills you'd like to mention that add to your qualifications for office:
Small and medium-sized business brand-development experience, including mission, vision and values creation, strategic planning and execution.
1. This is a volunteer position – no pay! Here's a three-part question:
- Why are you running for a seat on the hospital district board?
I believe the Pend Oreille Hospital Taxing District Board has untapped opportunities to cultivate public health and wellness by providing innovative solutions that combine traditional, complementary and alternative forms of medicine to fill a wide range of healthcare needs for the people of Bonner County.
- Have you ever attended a hospital district board meeting? Yes.
- And, if elected, how many hours per week will you devote to your service on the board? I will spend as many hours as necessary.
2. The hospital district specifically supports Bonner General Health and its health services. How many times in 2019 and 2020 did you visit BGH as a patron to utilize its services? Do you consider yourself well familiar with the services BGH provides?
Currently, Pend Oreille Hospital Taxing District has contracts with three Bonner General Health clinics that provide these important services: women's health, behavioral health, as well as ear, nose and throat (ENT) services. I have not used any of the aforementioned services of the privately-held Bonner General Health; however, I have previously used healthcare services at our local public-health entity, Panhandle Health District.
3. Do you consider the Pend Oreille Hospital District to be well managed currently? Is its board of trustees taking it in the right direction?
Five of the seven Pend Oreille Hospital Taxing District board members at this time also hold seats on the Bonner General Health corporate board of directors. I believe this majority has created a one-sided vision that has disallowed the facilitation of any provision of healthcare services outside of traditional western medicine.
4. Do you identify important issues, that you want to pursue or address as a member of the district board of trustees?
HB115 recently passed both houses of the Idaho Legislature. This bill removed the terms "'public hospital' and 'public clinic' within the district" from Idaho Code 39-1318. This language change means a hospital taxing district board can authorize the distribution of its county's tax dollars to other medical facilities outside the county and even outside the state. This language change also has the potential to erode the number and quality of services that can be offered to the citizens of Bonner County. I would always vote to ensure tax dollars collected by the Pend Oreille Hospital Taxing District stay in Bonner County.
5. The Pend Oreille Hospital District is a taxing district, the revenues from which are to be distributed to local health care facilities, and which the district earmarks for BGH. Would you seek changes to its funding or its expenditures?
Is it appropriate to use tax dollars to completely fund a single privately-held entity, rather than actively seeking ways to facilitate a greater depth and breadth of public healthcare offerings? For example, current clinical services offered by the Panhandle Health District could be expanded or providing funding to complementary and alternative healthcare options are areas I believe deserve exploration.
6. Rural communities in particular face challenges to provide good health care to their residents. Those include low patient volume; older populations with more chronic conditions; difficulty recruiting qualified professionals; rising costs and others. These difficulties have led to hospital closures in many small towns. Do you have a personal vision for how the health providers in our small town can meet these challenges and ensure good health care here in Bonner County?
I believe the very challenges of the traditional healthcare model mentioned in this question have resulted in many people, including myself, seeking alternative forms of healthcare to resolve issues, rather than manage symptoms. It's been my experience that this model, at least in North Idaho, has not effectively evolved or adapted to the demands of today's more sustainable, toxin- free lifestyle. People are looking for more natural, less invasive ways to heal and support overall wellness.
Facilitating fully-licensed alternative healthcare programs in combination with traditional medicine could relieve many of the current burdens facing rural healthcare providers, like Bonner General Health, by offering a breadth and depth of services that can work in tandem to promote overall wellness. It could also lessen appointment wait times, lower costs by streamlining services and attract quality professionals, while creating affordable access to a range of healthcare options and providers that fit every need, including our aging population, self-pay individuals and those most vulnerable. Healthy people are productive people.
7. Finally: With multiple candidates for the two board positions up for election, why should voters give you their vote? What would you like voters to most consider in deciding how to cast their vote?
As a lifelong resident of North Idaho, I have lived in Bonner County for 30 years. I have a firsthand perspective of the lifestyle, values and challenges we share, and I am uniquely positioned to provide solutions that fit the needs of every person of this great county.