Strong Business Background, Service Ethic Cited by New Health Board Directors

Audience applause greeted new Lake Fork Health Service District Directors Mike Schell and Janelle Warren after board chairperson Shawna Shidler administered their oaths of office on Monday morning, August 21. Schell and Warren were among four applicants for the two vacant board positions, applications were briefly interviewed by board members Johnson, Shidler and Campbell on Monday, each of whom was invited to present their background and desires for board service in opening remarks during the workshop portion of the meeting starting at 8 a.m.. After their statements, board members briefly conferred — Shidler searching for texted recommendations which had been sent by fellow board member Campbell — after which Shidler successively made motions, seconded by Johnson and Campbell, to appoint Mike Schell and Janelle Warren. Both motions met with unanimous board approval. As an audience aside, both Mike Schell and clinic physician Dr. Beuford Durmon were seated in the back row. After Schell’s successful appointment, Dr. Durmon smiled as he leaned over and quietly gave his congratulations, “I’m sorry.” In her remarks, Janelle Warren credited fellow medical board applicant Jamie Scroggins and said that in her mind the two most important aspects of life in Lake City are health care and education, the latter of which, she said, “blows me away and has changed my life.” Warren said she is impressed by the health care system in Lake City, noting that life-long Lake Fork Valley resident Helen Whinnery says that in 75 years observation “this is the best it’s ever been.” Warren described Lake City as a “unique community” which has inspired her to work as a volunteer. In a brief review of her life, Warren told the board she is a native Oklahoman who grew up in the construction business. She learned communication and problem-solving skills as an exchange student in Australia, returning to complete her college degree in Oklahoma and entering the family-owned construction business doing work within the private sector and federal government contracts while working in a variety of states. “ I love medicine,” she told the medical board, “although it’s not what I do. Business is what I do most and I would consider it an honor to serve on the board.” The second new Lake Fork Health Service board member is Mike Schell, a Montrose native who is a building contractor and former contract miner. Schell and his wife, Lynda, moved to Lake City full-time in 2005. He told the board he has been involved in medicine throughout his life, dating back to his work with a monitoring company and designed an early all-electric monitor and worked with Dr. Cotton to develop the first pediatric intensive care breathing apparatus during the years prior to graduating from the University of Colorado. Schell later worked in the medical equipment business, supplying four fully-equipped rooms of equipment for use at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction. It was during his work with the Grand Junction hospital that he met a “pretty little red head” working at the hospital who was to become his wife 37 years ago. In his remarks to the board during his initial application on August 10, Schell told health board directors Johnson and Shidler he feels health care in the Lake City area is of vital importance. “I have a few insights and feel things could be better,” he said, “you people are people of integrity and I feel we can work together. I’m not on any particular side,” he added, “I just want what’s best for the clinic and community.” Asked by the board on August 10 whether he had experience which might translate to treasurer duties on the board, Schell noted that he has operated his own business since 1982. In addition to the two successful applicants, Schell and Warren, other applicants for positions on the Lake Fork Health District board of directors were Jamie Scroggins and Barbara Hoaglin, both of whom were asked to consider serving on ad hoc committees such as the medical director search committee or newly suggested patients’ advisory committee. From the audience, Danielle Worthen led in a round of applause praising all individuals who had submitted letters of interest to serve on the medical board. In addition to Campbell, Schell, Warren, Hoaglin and Scroggins, Worthen said several other individuals with an interest in serving on the board had spoken with her in recent weeks. After receiving their appointments, Schell and Warren, with incumbents Johnson, Shidler and Campbell, briefly discussed officer election, ultimately concluding to let the new directors briefly settle in and “not thrown into the fire” before office assignments are made at next Monday’s special meeting. Shawna Shidler, who succeeded to the post of board chairperson in the wake of the earlier resignations, has indicated that she would like to step down as chairperson. She predicted that consideration of who will take the board positions of chairperson, vice chairperson, and treasurer “will be quite a little discussion, won’t it?”