John Kinkaid, of Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station, was chosen Tuesday as the newest member of The Memorial Hospital board. He was selected in a 2-1 vote by the Moffat County Commission. Kinkaid, who has worked for the power plant for more than 30 years, is scheduled to participate in his first TMH meeting tonight.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

John Kinkaid, of Tri-State Generation & Transmission’s Craig Station, was chosen Tuesday as the newest member of The Memorial Hospital board. He was selected in a 2-1 vote by the Moffat County Commission. Kinkaid, who has worked for the power plant for more than 30 years, is scheduled to participate in his first TMH meeting tonight.

Commission appoints Kinkaid to TMH board

Commission votes, 2-1, on decision; meeting tonight will begin 5-year term



Candidates interviewed for The Memorial Hospital board open seat:

• 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

• John Kinkaid

Occupation: at Tri-State Generation & Transmission

Years in Craig: 30

Public service experience: Moffat County School Board, 1999

The Moffat County Com­mission agreed Tuesday morning that choosing between two candidates vying for an open seat on The Memorial Hospital board was not easy.

In the end, the commission voted, 2-1, to appoint John Kinkaid to the board for a five-year term.

The commission interviewed Kinkaid, 56, and Forrest Luke, 55, of Craig, on Monday for the seat vacated by Corrie Ponikvar.

Ponikvar completed one five-year term and decided not to reapply for the position.

Before they voted Tuesday, commission members had a brief discussion about the two candidates.

Commissioners Tom Mathers and Tom Gray agreed that Kinkaid showed dedication and passion for the position when he said he would use vacation days from his job at Tri-State Generation & Transmission if a board or committee meeting conflicted with his schedule.

“I think both candidates understood the commitment,” Gray said. “But I was impressed by John’s willingness to get up to speed and spend the time. And not just the willingness, but I think he said he has 14 days off a month, so he will actually have the time.”

Commissioner Audrey Dan­ner disagreed.

“I felt Forrest Luke offered the same passion,” she said. “And I have seen some of the decisions in the community he has been a part of. He is open to a broader range of thinking.”

She said Luke offered the same willingness and ability to commit the effort to getting up to speed.

“I think he’s the most reasonable candidate at this point,” she said, and she asked Mathers and Gray to consider him for the position.

When it came time to vote, Danner’s was the only vote in opposition, securing Kinkaid’s appointment with a 2-1 decision.

Kinkaid, 56, of Craig, was a Moffat County School Board member from 1999 to 2003. He said he is looking forward to serving his community in a different capacity.

“I guess I’m looking forward to being able to contribute and getting to the point where I get up to speed and am able to be productive,” he said.

He said he does not yet have a grasp on how the hospital board works together, but he hopes to be part of a team similar to the School Board.

“We always got along on the school board, and I really appreciated that,” he said. “I would like to work as a team with the other board members on the hospital board and just help the hospital achieve its goal, which is helping patients get the care that they need.”

He said he is aware the next five years might present some financial difficulties because of the economic climate and loan payments on the hospital’s new facility.

But the most glaring upcoming issue for Kinkaid is the health care reform process.

“I think the thing that stands out the most in the entire medical profession is what’s going to come out of Congress with health care reform,” he said. “It won’t just affect the health care system, but it will effect the economy and our whole culture.”

Kinkaid will attend his first meeting at 7 p.m. today when the board hosts its monthly meeting at the hospital.

Although his orientation and training could take as long as a year, Kinkaid said he is eager to find his niche and use his skills where needed.

“It’s an honor to be selected,” he said. “And it’s a really large responsibility. I will do my best not to let the community down.

“We’re living in a very fluid time right now. We have to try to be mindful and make good decisions based on sound practice.”

Nicole Inglis can be reached at 875-1793, or


Michelle Hampton 7 years, 3 months ago

Congratulations John, I would just like to make a comment. I recently resigned from TMH I had been there for 6 yrs and 8 months and have seen the morale at TMH steadily decline over the past 3 years. I do hope that things soon improve with the managementment of TMH or there will be a lot more employees walk out the door as I did. It's pretty sad when you are told by Samantha Johnston "I don't blame you for quitting, you have to happy of a personality to work here." These are the issues that need to be addressed at TMH as none of the employees are happy there!


Michelle Hampton 7 years, 3 months ago

I can honestly say TMH was once family and patient oriented and that is no longer the case.


flavordave 7 years, 3 months ago

I concur with what the last comment. Anybody in the know would also concur. It's been a sad state of affairs there for a while now - hopefully that changes with the new hospital.


Michelle Hampton 7 years, 3 months ago

We have been in the new hospital for 2 months and it's sad to say but the morale is still steadily declining.


tanyascrappy 7 years, 3 months ago

I also was an employee of the "new and improved" TMH, and in fact moved my family clear across the nation to accept a position there with the promise of a "brighter day". What I found instead is an enviornment of "the rich and richer and the poor get left behind". The moral and loyalty of the employees is not what the community should hope for and expect of such a lovely new building. The community did a great thing in supporting a new facility, however, unless some internal changes are made and made quickly, your community will lose many more talented and highly skilled providers. These changes are not limited to the front line staff, rather if you were, as a commsion to ask for the results of the recent Press-Ganey scores, you would see that in fact the management was graded by the employees as being "poor, unresponsive to their needs and lacking skills as leaders". One cannot expect a 21st century facility to move forward with 19th century management. I have chosen to move on after only 9 months there as the vision that was being presented to me by my direct manager was not consistent with what promised to me during my interview process. The front line staff and a limited number of managers are very good at what they do, but if the rest were so good, why would the turnover rate be so high? That alone, in personnel costs, would save the hospital thousands of dollars alone! As a new board member, it would be to your benefit to walk in with an open mind and willing heart to listen to the actual employees that provide the care, they have much to tell you!


twix 7 years, 3 months ago

It would be nice if the hospital board remembered that the administrative team is supposed to work for and answer to them - not the other way around.


flavordave 7 years, 3 months ago

Is having time on one's hands more important than being well-qualified? No offense to John, but it seemed they were settling for lesser experience because he had more time on his hands. Interesting decision.


dogfan 7 years, 3 months ago

What says that Mr. Luke was any more qualified than Mr. Kinkaid. Just because Commissioner Danner says so? In my opinion she shouldn't have been able to vote. Wouldn't her husband already being on the board be a conflict of interest. Maybe she didn't vote for John because he has spoken his mind before about things he feels are important.

I think John will do the county and its taxpayers a good job.


Michelle Hampton 7 years, 3 months ago

The board should take a look a look at the Press Ganey Survey that we as employees were encouraged to take months ago and have been promised several times through emails sent to us by Samantha Johnston that the results would come out and as of my resignation date I had yet to see them. They need to come up with a different survey system anyway one that goes to the board not to the hands of those who the survey is about, leave it in there hands long enough the results will surely be brushed under the rug and the truth will be hidden.

I find it interesting that the majority of the new hires are from out of state and I know of local folks who have applied for the same postions only to be turned down, just another trigger in my mind that they want people who don't know history of TMH so they can continue to be dishonest and treat their employees like puppets on strings, instead of letting them have a personality that's fitting in the medical world.


mcdanclan 7 years, 3 months ago

Congratulations Mr. Kinkaid! I happen to work at TMH and am very happy there! I look forward to hearing your ideas and contributions to our great facility. I am blessed to have my job and to work with the wonderful people there. I believe you will find a warm welcome!


justthefacts 7 years, 3 months ago

Hurray, Hurray, Hurray, some of the commission got their way. The other lost her sway!!!!

Do we really not think that there was no back room plotting with the hospital Board Chaiman and his wife "THE COMMISSIONER" over the selection of a new board member? How was it that the TMH CEO that just happens to be the highest paid executive in the county, was in on the board member interviews??? ( Could someone be tring to protect their job???)

Fact: The one hospital Board member that would ask questions and ask for accountibility left the board. Why??

Fact: The Board Chairman and His Commissioner Wife could use one more rubber stamper to share the blame when the hospital can not be paid for.

Fact: John Kinkaid has a reputation of asking questions and being informed. ( Both qualities that the CEO, Board Chairman or "THE COMMISSIONER" do not want to see on THEIR BOARD!)

Fact: TMH lost $1.3 million dollars in operations last year under the guidance of this board and Quorum.

Fact: In July TMH will start making payments of $365.000.00 per month for the new house. ( How will they do it at the rate they are losing money now?

Fact: The Board or Commissioners do not have answers for these questions either.

Fact: Quorum's contract with TMH and the County is up this year, the Commissioners are not requiring competitive bidding for the Multi -MILLION dollar contract even though it is standard procedure for $1000 expenditures in any other County department. . ( Could the fix be in? Who is padding their pockets with this one??)

Fact: The current TMH Board ignores the facts and blindly follows the adminstration regarding the Hospital finances. The result?? Rubber stamping mismanagement. ( IS THERE A LAW THAT THE BOARD OR COMMISSIONERS CAN'T DO THEIR OWN HOMEWORK????)

Fact: The same SAD, SAD, SAD culture still exist at the new hospital as was at the old, and has been since the emergence of Quorum in to the life of TMH.

Did somebody put the wammy on Sammy? The service of Excellence in non-existent at TMH and so is she.

O Master of Spin, Sammy Sammy on the wall please, please, please JUST THE FACTS BEFORE THE BIG FALL!!!!

                                                     TMH = THE MAD HOUSE.

taxslave 7 years, 3 months ago

Don't forget Danner was appointed as well, not elected.

How sweet it is.


Michelle Hampton 7 years, 3 months ago

well Ms. Mcdanclan, I have been there quite a bit longer than you have and trust me the culture was a WHOLE lot better a few years back before there was talk of a new hospital and they tried to implement all these silly programs to make us better employees like the CULTURE TEAM has, only for them NOT to practice what they preach. Keep sucking up and you just might make it there! I loved my job and my patients but MANAGEMENT in that place needs to go they do not support you when you are trying to be better at your job!!


Michelle Hampton 7 years, 3 months ago

I am not ashamed to say my name is Michelle Hampton I am a Registered Polysomnographer who worked very very hard to get my Registry in Sleep Medicine and make the Sleep Lab at TMH successful and was shot down at every suggestion I made about how to make it better and was lied to in an interview process about the manager having Sleep Lab experience only to find out once again she does not! Building a Sleep Lab is a whole different thing than knowing how to Run and Score a Sleep Study. To be threatened that I was going to be fired and to be told I have a bad attitude every time I seen the manager even though it was me who tried to be helpful to her knowing she was new here and coming into the RT Dept. that has a lot of issues, that is not an IDEAL place to work in my eyes! Keep smiling and Raise that Bar!


westslopeguy 7 years, 3 months ago

I know I'm waaaayyy off topic here.

I have never had the opportunity to be a "guest" of the new facility. I was, however in intensive care at the old facility in September. In spite of all the negative comments running about town regarding the quality of care, (or lack of if you believe the ''street talk"), I found the medical care, AND the personal approach from the staff FAR ABOVE EXCELLENT, (If we can exclude the one individual that felt it necessary to inflict as much pain as she could upon removing a catheter - I mean there ARE ways to do that without appearing to enjoy the task).

I know this doesn't touch the administrators, or management of the facility, and I realize I'm talking about the operations in the "old" facility, but that was only 4 months ago. But, being in management myself, I am aware of the ''rolls downhill'' approach to how we do our job.

As such, even MORE props to the day-to-day staffers of TMH that we encounter to be THAT good to their patients all the while enduring as tenuous work environment as is reported here.

KUDOS TO YA !! and btw, thanks!

my 2cents


tanyascrappy 7 years, 3 months ago

So the layer of BS gets thicker! Now that two people have called her out, Samantha Johnston sends the following email to the employees of TMH: From: Samantha Johnston Sent: Wednesday, January 27, 2010 18:50 To: TMH Employee Mail; Jeni Murphy; Keith Velardo; Linda Griffith; Robin Craig; Suz Syverston Subject: 2009 Employee Survey

All: It was mentioned by a former employee that the Employee Survey results had never been made public. I did present these results in two board meetings, but the survey was also on the G Drive for several months following the return of the results.

The survey is there once again. I put it back out there for any of you who wish to see it. I have also attached a summary of it here.

Communication is the area where the executive teams most needs improvement. The areas most in need of improvement following communication are closely tied to communication. This challenge is the reason why we continue to solicit feedback about how to better communicate, what information you want to receive communication about, etc.

The survey is on G:PressGaney:2009EmployeeSurvey

Please let me know if you need help interpreting the data or if you have questions. Thanks, Sam Samantha Johnston, MBA Chief of Organizational Excellence The Memorial Hospital 750 Hospital Loop Rd. Craig, Colo. 81625 (970) 826-3109 So let's be very clear on two points: 1) the results of the Press-Ganey scores were NOT posted to the G drive, in fact they were ONLY posted to the "managers drive" and even then not all the managers had access to them, there was no employee forum to discuss the results, although it was MANDATED that all employees had to participate in the survey. 2) The communication issues that are "tied to the communication issue" is bunk, the employees don't trust the managers and they sure as heck don't believe that their jobs are secure. Case in point - a certified nursing assistant is hired and has worked there for an extended amount of time on an "as needed" basis. A full-time opportunity is posted and she applies for it, does very well in the interview, is highly respected by her peers and has received several patient compliments, however the direct nursing manager has a beef with her, and the job is given to another brand new person who has not invested the time into the facility. Now what does that say to the employee? Keep doing a great job cuz we sure as heck aren't going to reward you? Yep! Communication, that is what it is all about! Time to get to the bottom of it Craig, or your beautiful building will have no one left inside to care for you except the upper management!


eieiolrighty 7 years, 3 months ago

I would like to know why the concierge at the Memorial Hospital makes more than an EMT??? How sad is that? They have certified people making less money than someone answering their phones?? Hello, how long is that going to last? Communication and Samantha Johnston are two words that DON'T go together. Officer of Organizational Excellence my butt!! Raise the Bar? To where knee level? Then you can kick more people when they are down. I have heard more complaints about Sam not returning phone calls. Then she wonders why people get so frustrated with her. George is just as bad about returning phone calls. How do you ever think you are going to make things better when you can't even face the problems you have. I guess you can keep brushing them under the rug and see if they get resolved. You are in a small town, word gets better get your heads pulled out and start answering to the community and your employees. WHY is the board not doing anything about these issues? You DON'T have management doing exit interviews or surveys. No wonder people are being fired. You don't score us well on your survey---YOU'RE OUTTA HERE!! My daughter of all people (a child) asked me during a discussion about the hospital, doesn't committed to excellence mean you are committed to everyone and making things better? HUMMM? Maybe you should change that to committed to......uh...well lets see how I feel today!


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