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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
September 19, 2018     Feather River Bulletin
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September 19, 2018

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6A Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 Feather River Bulletin Debra Moore Managing Editor Voters in the Plumas Hospital District may select three candidates from a field of four on the Nov. 6 ballot. The candidates feature two incumbents: John Kimmel and Bill Wickman, and two challengers: Andrew Ryback and Marty Walters. Each of the candidates was given an opportunity to provide some biographical information and answer three questions to introduce themselves to the community. They were asked to limit responses to 150 words. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the hospital? .1. Continued Economic stability to be able to sustain and improve Services. This can be challenging with lower reimbursements by both government and insurances and rising costs of healthcare. 2. Continued retention of quality leaders, employees and physicians. 3. Funding of our strategic plan: Obtain both inside and outside fmancial resources to maintain/expand our services through long care facility, extended care facility and someday new hospital facility. Name: Andrew Ryback Age: 53 Name: John A. Kimmel Occupation: President Age: 61 and CEO - Plumas Bank Occupation: Certified Family: Michelle (Wife, Public Accountant works at Feather River Family: Wife Pauline and College), Daniel (Son, children: Christina attending graduate school Kimmel Lutz and Aaron at San Diego State Kimmel University), Jeffrey (Son, attending Feather River Why are you running to College) retain a seat on the board? Why are you running Our hospital is a very for a seat on the board? important part of our Plumas District Hospital community and continues is a vital resource for our to face many challenges, region and its continued some internal and some success is contingent external, some financial upon, in part, the vision and some nonfinancial. I and knowledge of its would like to continue leadership. I joined serving the community as Plumas Bank in July 2001 a Director to help see us and became the President through these very critical and Chief Executive times. Officer in 2010 -- in the midst of a deep recession What experience do you and serious f'mancial bring to the position? crisis for the bank. Plumas I have been serving PDH Bank is now a thriving as a director since 1999. and growing institution Those years of experience which is due, in part, to combined with my my ability to think accounting and financial strategically and plan for expertise hopefully has the future, even in times of made me an asset of the financial stress and Hospital board. Because of uncertainty. I believe that my accounting practice my strategic thinking and (past 27 years) I do obtain planning capabilities a unique perspective of would serve PDH well as our community as the leadership of the consumers of healthcare hospital navigates the (both as individuals and continued challenges and businesses). That uncertainty of the perspective does help me healthcare industry. with board decisions affecting our community. What experience do you bring to the position? Saturday, OCTOBER 20th, 9am-4pm Sponsored by Quincy Elks Lodge Please call Susan at 283-9113 for registration and more information I have extensive experience serving as a board member and currently serve as: Board member and Treasurer on the Board of Directors of Sierra Cascade Family Opportunities (which oversees the Northeastern California Head Start programs); Commissioner and Treasurer for the Quincy Fire Protection District; Board member of the California Community Banking Network, and- Advisory member of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco's Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council. Finally, I have worked with the PDH management team since 2010 through my service on the Measure A Bond Oversight Committee which I currently chair. My experience as a Chief Executive also qualifies me as a candidate who has the proven ability to perform strategic planning and oversight functions at the highest levels. Between these two qualifications -- extensive board experience and successful leadership at the Chief Executive level -- I believe I am well qualified to serve on the board of Plumas District Hospital. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the hospital? In the shorter term (the next 12 months), guiding and assisting the new CEO and managing the electronic medical records system conversion will be areas of challenge for PDH. In the medium term (the next 2-3 years), the merger with Indian Valley Hospital District and the build out of a skilled k nursing facility will take priority, and in the longer term (the next 5-8 years), facility seismic compliance will need to be addressed. Additionally, there will continue to be financial challenges as third party reimbursement rates and service denials put downward pressure on revenues. In the broader context of the healthcare industry, there have been 83 rural hospital closures between 2010 and August 2018. Many other rural hospitals are also vulnerable to closure. It will be imperative that the leadership of PDH continue to be strategic and proactive in navigating the challenges and uncertainty of the healthcare industry. prom I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I for Name: Marty Walters Age: 52 Occupation: Environmental Scientist, Bank Risk Manager Family: I have three grown children and seven siblings, which make up a large extended family on the West Coast and Hawaii, including my morn, stepdad, and two sisters and their families who live in Plumas County. Why are you running for a seat on the Plumas Hospital District Board? Healthcare was a key issue that came up at every meeting I attended earlier this year in my Congressional campaign. A safe and sound local clinic and hospital is key to our community's success, whether it's keeping morns and kids healthy, helping people who are going through difficult times such as drug addiction or chronic illness, or supporting the healthcare professionals we rely on each day. We are going through a lot of change, and we need to respond to that change by better supporting our older population, addressing environmental and climate changes that affect Our health, and keeping critical services available in our remote location. W-hat experience do you bring to the position? I've spent the last 10 years working on financing all kinds of healthcare facilities and equipment through my job, and I've learned a lot about how to identify and manage risks associated with quality of care and healthcare regulation. In addition to that direct experience, I've spent 30 years as an environmental scientist, identifying and cleaning up environmental hazards that affect our health. The connections between environment and health are especially important to rural residents, and I'm committed to supporting our hospital in providing key services while staying fmancially safe and sound. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the hospital? Small hospitals like ours often fall through the cracks when it comes to regulation and quality of care. There's no excuse: we need to operate at the same level of service and quality of care as larger institutions so that we can attract and retain patients and customers who will use our hospital for most of their needs. That requires not just excellence but an even greater commitment to transparency, sound fiscal management, and truly caring about the people who come to our clinics, emergency room, and specialists without regard to socioeconomic status, gender, race, or religion. It's not just about being good intentioned, but about being smart and competitive. The healthcare industry is going through seismic change, and we need to be on the leading edge of demonstrating how rural communities will be receiving their healthcare in the next 10, 20, and 30 years. m m i mmmmmmm m,i i i i m i ii Call Doug!! 530.616.1290 more information Name: Bill Wickman Age: 71 Occupation: Retired Family: Wife, Sue; and children, Mark and Lynsey What experience do you bring to the position? I have been involved as a volunteer and elected official in Quincy as well as Plumas County for over three decades. This experience has involved being a member of Quincy High Boosters, Chief Financial Officer for the Plumas County Education Foundation and PUSD School Board Member from 1990-1997. After retiring from the Forest Service in 2002, I was responsible for being the community lead for the $15 million facilities improvement bond for Plumas County schools. After passage of the Measure A bond, I was the chairman for the PUSD Measure A Citizens Oversight Committee for six years. I was the chairman of the Plumas County Economic Recovery Committee from 2009 to 2012. I have served on the Plumas Health Care Foundation for 10 years, the last 6 as their President. I have been elected to two previous terms for PDH as a Board member. What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the hospital? Currently there are three challenges that are before the Board, community and PDH administration. First, we must continue to assure that we have sound fmancial support. Not only will this assure that we survive as a Critical Access Hospital, but also allow us to pay our employees at a rate that is competitive. Sound finances will also help maintain PDH's OB program which is the only one left in Plumas County. Second, consolidation with the Indian Valley Why are you running to community. Third, work retain a seat on the towar~ls our Strategic plan~, Plumas Hospital District ~',~ ,~ and make,:lt a,~al]ty The ~ ~: Board? key elements of the plan I have been committed to our community and hospital for over 46 years and wish to continue. I am excited about our current Strategic Plan and am committed to seeing it to fruition. Our current Board and administration have worked hard to get through a rough financial time and PDH is now on firm ground with our Emances. I look forward to continuing to work with the community, PDH administration and our strong Board to assure that our Critical Access hospital meets the challenges for the future. 1355 E. Main, Quincy mimmmmmmmm iimmmimimimm and are the consolidation with the Indian Valley community and then working to upgrade the existing Indian Valley Hospital into an Assisted Living facility. Developing a new Skilled Nursing facility on the existing PDH property. Lastly, continue to develop a new Hospital with new inpatient and emergency care rooms. Candlelight planned Meg Upton Staff Writer mupton@plumasnews.corn iimmii~ I I I I I I I I I In this month of suicide awareness, Feather River College will lead a Suicide Prevention and Awareness Candlelight Vigil and invites the entire county to participate. The vigil will take place Thursday, Sept. 27, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m in Dame Shirley Plaza in Quincy. The mission of the vigil is to recognize "lives lost to suicide, loss survivors, and those struggling with mental illness." FRC wellness coordinator Nina Martynn will be gathering personal reflections or written sentiments to be read aloud during the vigil. For those wishing to send something to be read, Martynn suggests emailing her at The vigil is a partnership between FRC, Plumas Rural Services, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.