Commission to fill TMH vacancy Tuesday

Kinkaid, Luke interview for five-year term on hospital board

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Candidates

Candidates interviewed for The Memorial Hospital board open seat:

Name: Forrest Luke

Occupation: Environmental manager at Trapper Mine

Years in Craig: 17

Public service experience: Colorado Geological Survey advisory board, Northwest Colorado Energy Producers president

Name: John Kinkaid

Occupation: at Tri-State Generation & Transmission

Years in Craig: 30

Public service experience: Moffat County School Board, 1999

The Moffat County Commission interviewed two candidates Monday morning for an open seat on The Memorial Hospital board once held by Corrie Ponikvar.

Ponikvar's five-year term ended this month, and she decided not to reapply for the position.

Forrest Luke and John Kinkaid each spent about 20 minutes in front of the three-member commission as part of the process to choose the new board member.

The commission will announce its decision on the new board member at 9 a.m. Tuesday during its weekly meeting.

The new member will go right to work, attending TMH’s first meeting of 2010 at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the hospital, 750 Hospital Loop.

Luke, a 17-year Craig resident and environmental manager at Trapper Mine, said he applied for the position because he was looking for a way to serve his community.

“I think health care is a really important part of our community,” Luke said. “I'm really excited about this new hospital. I think the community really saw a need for it.”

During his interview, commissioner Audrey Danner asked him how his work experiences could help him as a TMH board member.

He said he previously served on the Northwest Colorado Energy Producers board and on an advisory committee for the Colorado Geological Survey.

“One thing is I have a lot of experience with compliance,” he said. “I work a lot with community and political affairs.”

He said there have been times in his career he has not agreed with the viewpoints or directions of others, and he understands that’s a possible scenario on the TMH board.

“I think the main purpose of the board is to support the management team as long as everything is going as it should,” he said. “It's to make sure the mission and vision are followed and to improve the community through excellence.

“I think it's a noble goal to be the best rural hospital in the state, and I would see myself being a part of that team.”

Kinkaid, a Tri-State Generation & Transmission employee and 30-year Craig resident, said he wants to help the hospital continue on its current path of success and excellence.

“I don't want to dwell on the past, but there was definitely a paradigm shift a couple years ago,” he said. “It's different than it was. The atmosphere in the hospital is really good right now.

“I recognize excellence when I see it, and I'd like the staff to feel appreciated and know that the community supports them.”

If he were the on the commission and conducting the candidate interviews, Kinkaid said he would look for someone who is a team player.

“I think they're looking for someone who's going to put in the effort and help the hospital keep moving in the right direction,” he said.

George Rohrich, TMH chief executive officer, also attended the interviews, although he has no voice in who is chosen.

“We have two great candidates and I look forward to their decision,” Rohrich said.

Commissioner Tom Mathers said one of the most important attributes the new board member should have is a willingness and ability to make a large time commitment.

“We need someone who can actually spend the time, and someone who has an interest in seeing the hospital be a success,” he said. “Somebody who will work to provide the best hospital we can have.”

Mathers said both candidates have the ability to step up and be part of the team that supports the hospital as it moves into the future.

“It's a tough board,” he said. “It's a five-year board. It takes a year even just to get up to speed. But, I think either of them can definitely do it.”

Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793 or ninglis@craigdailypress.com.

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