Hospital District Commissioner candidates weigh in on health issues

The Arlington Times and The Marysville Globe newspapers sent candidates two questions to each of candidates running for the Hospital District No. 3 Board of Commissioners.

Candidates were asked to respond to the questions in 100 words or less.

Position No. 3

Margo Powell, the incumbent, is squaring off against Jeff Cartwright.

1. What makes you the best candidate for the hospital district commissioner position?

Powell: For 11 years, I have served with the current strong and cohesive Hospital Board. In two recent open Medical Staff meetings, I received unanimous support for my re-election.

My opponent hints that the hospital has questionable quality, a claim unsupported by data. My opponent states that I am "just a hairdresser". I am a hairdresser, and a successful business owner. My only motive in serving is to assure that the best interests of our residents are represented in assuring excellent, local healthcare. Since my opponent has no facts about our quality, what are his motives in running for the Commission?

Cartwright: I am an orthopedic surgeon with a tremendous amount of experience who resides and practices here in Arlington. I am committed to the community and dedicated to ensuring that the people of our Hospital District get the best health care possible. The Hospital Board has five members. Not one has medical training and experience other than the veterinarian. My opponent is a hairdresser. Hopefully, if elected, I can bring the medical experience to the board needed to help guide the hospital to a successful future and turn around some of the challenges of the past.

2. What are some of the upcoming challenges facing the hospital and how will you help the district meet those challenges?

Powell: Cascade Valley Hospital is a successful organization. We enjoy financial success, high quality services, and great patient satisfaction. Services and staff competence are rated very high by the community's doctors. Like any successful organization, our greatest challenge is to be mindful of alternate agendas and people who want to be associated with us so they can divert the Commissioners from their current path of excellence. The Commission currently has a solid vision and works closely with administration and physicians to ensure we meet the needs of our community. Our goal is to continue and enhance our excellent care.

Cartwright: The challenges are many. As Cascade Valley HospitalÕs expansion nears completion, despite emergency room and cosmetic improvements, there is no actual increase in inpatient capacity, a majority of tax payers still elect to travel to other healthcare facilities for their medical care, preparations to manage the H1N1 flu epidemic, and looming important healthcare changes at the national level. If elected, I will bring my medical training and expertise to the board to help make the changes necessary to address these issues in a manner which benefits the hospital district and helps to make our hospital the gem of the Northwest.

Commissioner Position No. 4

Steve Peterson is running unopposed.

1. What makes you the best candidate for the hospital district commissioner position?

Peterson: I have served as a hospital commissioner for the past sixteen months filling the vacated position of Ray McClure. I had served in the past as an adviser to the board during Bob Cambell's administration. This time as well as serving as the president of the Arlington School board for seven of my eight years there will serve me well continuing in my duties at the Hospital.

2. What are some of the upcoming challenges facing the hospital and how will you help the district meet those challenges?

Peterson: The toughest job we will experience in the future will to keep the hospital district operating the plus column. The present financials are extremely good, contrary to some misguided statements.

With the passing of the voter approved expansion project, which is going very well, Gives us another charge to continue with the expansion of our medical improvements for the community.

Our main issue that the District will be facing in the future will be the outcome of changes in medical reimbursements from medicare and Medicaid. Our present administration has kept us on track on the problems.

The problems in the medical fields are elusive at best. With the continued good work by our Doctors, Nurses, Medical and admin. staff, we will succeed.

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