New TMH board chair steps forward

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Missy Bonaker

In other action

At its Wednesday meeting, The Memorial Hospital board also:

• Approved, 5-0, board meeting minutes for June 30.

• Approved, 5-0, finance committee meeting minutes for July 21 and a financial report.

• Approved, 5-0, TMH medical staff meeting minutes for July 13.

• Approved, 5-0, TMH foundation meeting minutes for July 12.

• Approved, 5-0, medical staff development committee meeting minutes for July 13.

• Approved, 5-0, joint conference committee meeting minutes for July 20.

• Approved, 5-0, to go into executive session to discuss contractual negotiations.

• Approved, 5-0, the advancement of Dr. Anna Lundeen from provisional to active medical staff.

• Approved, 5-0, the reappointment of doctors Ross Goldstein and Joseph Morgan to the medical staff.

• Approved, 5-0, the appointment of doctors Virginia Tjan-Wettstein and Mark Hancock to provisional staff.

• Approved, 5-0, to end certain physician recruitment incentives as recommended by the medical staff development and joint conference committees.

• Approved, 5-0, to continue current arrangements for unassigned call for one year and revisit the item in August 2011.

• Approved, 5-0, to replace lights and ballasts throughout the old hospital building at 785 Russell St., totaling $6,763.

• Approved, 5-0, to install a surge protection system for the TMH Medical Clinic totaling $7,000.

• Approved, 5-0, one-year physician employment agreement extension for Dr. Jeffrey Womble.

• Discussed changes to the July 2010 physician recruitment priorities.

• Discussed the 2010 strategic hospital business plan through the second quarter.

Missy Bonaker said she is finding her new position as The Memorial Hospital board’s chairwoman “a little overwhelming.”

But, despite only being chairwoman for two board meetings, Bonaker is making adjustments along the way, she said.

“I am definitely learning to talk louder,” she said with a laugh before the hospital board’s regular meeting Wednesday.

The soft-spoken Bonaker, 61, took the reins as the board’s chairwoman June 15 after a unanimous approval from the board.

She filled the vacancy left when previous board chairman Ron Danner resigned in May. Danner announced his decision to leave the position in a letter to the Moffat County Commission, after he announced the news to the board.

During the board’s May 26 meeting, he said his reasoning for leaving the board was political.

Ron’s wife, Audrey is a Moffat County Commissioner running for election in District 2, and Ron said he wanted to eliminate any perceived conflict of interest.

Bonaker will serve the remainder of Danner’s term, which lasts until January. She said she would then seek a five-year term as board chairwoman. Board chairs can serve unlimited five-year terms, she said.

Bonaker was planning to run for Danner’s spot in January had he not resigned, she said.

Bonaker has served on the board for six years and was chair-elect at the time Danner resigned.

“It was an obvious decision to move forward,” she said.

After just two meetings as chairwoman, George Rohrich, TMH chief executive officer, said he thinks Bonaker will serve the board well.

“I think she will do the job very well,” he said. “She is very familiar with the operations and business of the board.”

Bonaker owns the accounting firm Bonaker & Associates on north Yampa Avenue.

She said that her husband, Jack, served on the hospital board before he died.

“I felt that it was something that was very important to him and that he would want me to continue in the early planning stages of the new hospital,” she said.

So far, Bonaker said it has been an “exciting” past three years getting the new hospital built.

“I am very proud of it,” she said. “Now, the goals are to maintain the standards of excellence and continue to make it a great hospital for the community.”

Bonaker said she has several goals as chairwoman, but two above all else — maintaining a good level of service and staying current in the changing health care field.

In the current health care field, Bonaker contends, there are more questions than answers.

“My goal for this board is to stay abreast of that,” she said.

Another large goal she hopes to work toward is clinical integration, which focuses on working with other hospitals and exchange services the other may lack, she said.

“That is where health care is headed,” she said. “My goal is to make us such high quality, that other hospitals want to partner with us. That is our goal with this beautiful new facility ... to maintain quality care.”

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