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Zehring not term limited, will run for hospital board in May

by Eric Mullens
WALSENBURG — After hearing from the special district legal consultants, David Zehring, Chairman of the Huerfano County Hospital District Board of Directors, announced last Thursday he would be seeking another term on the board.
Zehring said the consultants reviewed his time on the board and due to interruptions between his board terms, he is not term-limited and indicated he would be filing his paperwork to be a candidate for the upcoming May election.
During the hospital board meeting on Feb. 23, it was announced another individual had, that day, filed their self- nomination forms. The form had not been officially reviewed so the candidate’s name was not disclosed. But if that filing does meet the requirements, there will be an election held in three months.
The deadline for filing self-nomination forms with the designated election official is March 2 and March 5 is the last day to file affidavits of intent for any write-in candidate.
In other business, the board passed a resolution that appoints retired Dr. Edward F. Donovan to serve as a special voluntary advisor to the quality improvement process of Spanish Peaks Regional Health Center.
Donovan owns Deer Print Wine in La Veta and was introduced to the board by Zehring.
Donovan is the former Director of the Child Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, OH. His areas of speciality were quality improvement research and perinatal epidemiology.
The resolution passed by the hospital board said in part, “Ed Donovan, M.D., possesses knowledge and experience that we believe can further our goal of being the best rural healthcare facility in Colorado.”
It was announced that two nurses, one from the hospital and one from the Colorado State Veterans’ Nursing Home have been nominated for the Nightingale Nurse Recognition for Southeastern Colorado. CSVNH Director of Nursing Nancy Corsentino and SPRHC nurse Mary Cope are the local nominees.
Congratulations were also offered to Corsentino for her completion of her BSN.
Nursing home administrator Marty Schlink said in her report that nurse staffing is challenging at the moment with a number of open shifts. “We have implemented the staffing plan as well as including nursing managers to cover these until further staff is hired,” she said.
Schlink also reported that she and Bill Gust, the state observer for the nursing home, will be attending the national Association of State Veteran’s Homes Conference in Washington D.C. this week. While in the nation’s capitol they are meeting with Colorado legislators to discuss HR 2074. That legislation deals primarily with payment rates for veterans who are the most severely service-connected disabled and with veterans of traumatic brain injury and the improvement of rehabilitative services. Schlink said she and Gust have appointments with six members of the Colorado delegation.
On the remodeling project at the nursing home she reported the final inspection by the fire department and the state department of public health and safety is scheduled for tomorrow, Friday, March 2. Her report said that while the areas are essentially done, they cannot be fully moved into until the inspection is conducted. However, she said both the recent monthly Memorial Service and the monthly Resident Council meeting were held in the new Multi-purpose room. “Both events were much more comfortable and acoustically more pleaseing for all,” she said.
The residents will also name that room, like they did the main dining room and Schlink said there are currently about 25 potential names being offered.
SPRHC CEO Todd Oberheu reported he recently met with officials from Centura Health and they provided information concerning the number of Huerfano County residents who have been seen at Centura facilities statewide. He said 1,515 procedures were done at Centura locations in 2011 with 516 and those being mammograms. While it is not currently a budgeted item and there are space consideration issues, Oberheu said it wasn’t outside the realm of possibility that someday mammography services might return to SPRHC.
He reported that he met with Boulder Associate architects last week to discuss the potential emergency department renovation project and expect them to be submitting a preliminary plan that stays within the $2 to $2.5M price range the board is considering. The Neenan company has also scheduled another work session with the board and administration to discuss their revised plans. That presentation is set for 9 am until 1 pm Friday, March 9.