Candidates: Incumbent Jerry Kennedy and challenger Gerry Salstrom
Jerry Kennedy's statement:
Health care reform brings with it new financial challenges to hospitals. Rural hospitals face the biggest challenges. While our community is fortunate to have a new hospital, we also have increased overhead costs for operating it.
As a small business owner, I understand the need to be both responsive to the community, as well as the need to be fiscally responsible.
Having served as volunteer firefighter and EMT, a school board member, president of a professional association and on the board of a national educational association, I have an understanding of the issues locally and nationally, which provides me with valuable perspective on the challenges facing local health care.
Gerry Salstrom's statement:
The top challenge will be attempting to put the community back in Coulee Medical Center. Meet with the community and assist the board along with the administration to make the center a positive place for medical care.
Working with administration where local people are employed in lieu of agency staff.
As a Commissioner, I will be facing is building trust with the community, staff and other agencies. To have the ability to embrace their ideas, concerns and issues.
As a past employee of Coulee Medical Center, I am aware of the challenges the staff are dealing with. Low census, policies and procedures created resulting in negative impact on the facility. My honesty, compassion and integrity is known to the employees. I feel very strong on being an advocate for the employees and staff members. Being the best commissioner I can be and work to make Coulee Medical Center the best facility in the district.
I have worked for the legislation in Olympia as an Administrative Assistant; have the ability to research laws, policies and procedures. Retired state employee who assisted in creating budgets, looking for grants, searching for educational programs for staff while constantly working to improve the day-to-day practices. I am a SHIBA volunteer, able to assist people with insurance questions and concerns. I have worked closely with IHS assisting tribal members with health insurance concerns. Attended seminars on the new Affordable Health Care Act. Volunteer to assist seniors who are applying for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
I would like to thank the Star for giving me this opportunity to share my platform. Remember with just one vote a person can make a difference.