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Kittitas Hospital District 1 Commissioner 3

No Salary, some districts offer a small reimbursement for the expenses associated with evening meetings. Public Hospital District commissioners are responsible for the policies and quality of care provided at public hospitals throughout the service area. The commission sets the general policies of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional district administrator and hospital medical staff and personnel.

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  • Michael Barrow
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Erica Libenow
    (NP)

Biographical Information

What is your record of public service?

What is the top issue for your Hospital District?

How would you address it?

What experience have you had with medical budgeting and administration?

What responsibility do you think the Hospital District should have for indigent care?

What should your district do to address the revenue shortfalls resulting from the COVID-19 crisis?

What should your district do to prepare for a return of COVID-19 or any future pandemic?

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Phone () -
Email libenowforposition3@gmail.com
Town where you live Ellensburg, WA
Experience (300 characters max) I have served Kittitas County Public Hospital District #1 as elected commissioner since 2015.
I have served as commissioner for Kittitas County Public Hospital District #1 for the last 6 years. During that time, I have held the position of board secretary and board vice-president. As a registered nurse working for a local school district, I immerse myself in healthcare issues every day. This experience provides a rich understanding of healthcare on multiple levels.
Though I dream of the day when COVID-19 is not the top pressing issue, today is not that day. The organization must continue to be a step ahead while maintaining the ability to navigate the unexpected.
We have a remarkable team at KVH of 650+ staff members who give their best every day for the good of our community. Establishing the COVID Clinic for walk-in testing and contributing tirelessly to the county’s vaccination efforts are testaments to their vigilance and determination. Fostering continued ingenuity and dedication within the team will help us rise to meet new challenges.
On a monthly basis, senior leadership reports to the board, including the Chief Financial Officer. As a board member, I review the financial report and also vote to approve or deny expenditure requests. On an annual basis, I participate in a review of the proposed budget prior to casting my vote. From a high-level perspective, strategic planning guides the organization into the future, and financial sustainability is a pillar of the organization’s strategic plan which was developed in 2017 by my fellow board members and me.
The hospital district is an important community partner when it comes to keeping the community healthy. Regardless of financial status, KVH is here for you. Beyond the walls of the hospital and clinics, KVH partners with other community stakeholders as members of Kittitas County Health Network (KCHN). With KCHN, KVH seeks to ensure resources get to where they are needed most, address social determinants of health to improve outcomes, and ensure sustainability of the Network while recruiting additional community stakeholders.
When COVID-19 first hit, it was “all hands on deck” for the entire organization. With elective surgeries deferred during the initial wave, surgery revenue declined. Global supply chains began to falter due to fulfillment interruption, and personal protective equipment and other supplies became harder to obtain. KVH is an incredible team. Some employees took voluntary leave to reduce payroll expenses. Everyone increased stewardship of supply inventory in order to reduce waste and expense. Federal funding provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act helped the organization navigate uncertain waters. Despite obstacles posed by COVID-19, KVH continues to expand services and capacity to meet the needs of the community.
In the 20 months that have elapsed since the novel coronavirus was first identified in the US, tremendous knowledge has been gained about the nature of a pandemic, including specific virology, disease treatment, mitigation measures, healthcare response, public policy, and human behavior. We have learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work. One thing is abundantly clear: we are stronger and better able to manage a pandemic and save lives when we respect each other, care for each other, and work together.