Two more GVH trustees resign
Bonney, Rasure latest on growing list of former board members
Originally published 2013-01-31
In what has become a revolving door on Gunnison Valley Health’s Board of Trustees, two more members have announced their resignation in recent weeks.
Terry Bonney submitted a letter of resignation to the Gunnison County Commissioners Jan. 18, and John Rasure announced his resignation after serving less than three months.
The resignations mean that in the last five months alone, four board members have called it quits, as GVH leaders have attempted to regain financial footing.
Former Chairman Robert Brickman resigned this past October following an eight-year tenure. And Gunnison CPA Kathy Ridgeway threw in the towel in August after slightly less than a year on the board.
When contacted by the Times this week, Bonney, Rasure and Ridgeway were guarded about stating publicly their reasons for leaving.
“I think there’s a great deal to be said just by making observations,” offered Rasure, a former chief executive of a nonprofit clinical neuroscience research organization. He noted that in the last 18 months, GVH has seen four board members resign, three different CEOs and two separate management companies hired for their services.
However, Bonney’s resignation letter to the commissioners — which was obtained via a formal records request by the Times — doesn’t mince words.
“I am plagued with doubt as to the ability of the GVH board to function with either integrity or transparency,” she wrote. “I am also unable to tolerate the lack of fiduciary responsibility demonstrated by several board colleagues and certain members of the GVH executive team, during my short tenure.”
Bonney — whose husband is local OB/GYN Tim Bonney — served just 16 months before resigning two weeks ago.
GVH leaders announced last April a net revenue shortfall of $632,000 for the hospital alone during the first quarter of the year. The shortfall resulted in both immediate and long-term cost-saving measures being enacted. And the GVH board opted to outsource top management of the hospital on a temporary basis.
GVH entered a three-month contract with Quorum Health Resources, through which Scott Landrum was named interim CEO of the organization, replacing Randy Phelps.
Through part of a “performance improvement plan,” GVH leaders last spring rolled back an across-the-board salary increase, suspended the employer match to retirement plans and implemented a hiring freeze on vacancies.
This past July, after the three-month contract with Quorum expired, Community Hospital Corp. was tabbed to provide management assistance for the health organization in an advisory capacity. In September, Rob Santilli Was hired as GVH’s new CEO.
Stopping the financial bleeding has been a slow process.
GVH leaders announced last week that the hospital itself experienced a loss of $121,756 for year-end 2012. However, the health system also includes the property tax-supported Senior Care Center and the GVH Foundation. As a result, in total, the local health system ended last year $522,117 in the black.
But Bonney’s resignation letter hints at deeper problems.
“Although several positive changes are being attempted, there will be no capacity for real change until board members are selected who can stand up to physicians, demand an end to physician lobbying and objectively put the needs of the community above their own agendas,” she wrote. “I implore you to select board members who are able to rise above the wall of silence and complacency that exists there now.”
Current GVH Board Chair Ronda Connaway didn’t seem too concerned by the recent resignations when questioned this week.
“I think our main concern is maintaining for this community the highest quality health program that we can promote and that we can design,” she said. “And I think that’s what the board has been focused on for some time.”
(Will Shoemaker can be contacted at 970.641.1414 or firstname.lastname@example.org)