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Campbell County Health Board of Trustees Candidate Questionnaire: Dennis Jack

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Election season is well underway and County 17 has sent a list of questions to each candidate who has filed to run for a spot on the Campbell County Health Board of Trustees.

These questions are designed to give our readers a better understanding of the people behind the names on the ballot. All candidate responses submitted to County 17 are republished as they are received.

Below, get to know Dennis Jack who is running for a position on the Campbell County Health Board of Trustees:


1. Who are you? 

My name is Dennis Jack, I have lived in Wyoming since March, when I returned from Texas. I lived in Casper, WY, from 2014- 2017, then moved to Texas for another opportunity. I grew up in Oregon. I have worked in healthcare administration since 1982. I enjoy reading, spending time with my family, hiking, and lately trying to be in shape. 

2. Why have you decided to run for office and what do you hope to accomplish should you be elected?

Since 2014 I have followed the events of Campbell County Health. I attended board meetings, watched board meetings, read press articles and felt I could offer some sound advice on how to improve the operations of the hospital. Every rural hospital struggles in these times, however it seems to me that CCH has had more than their share of troubles. I believe I can help them avoid some of those troubles in the future.  I would work toward more transparency for the board, as well as helping them create a more solid long-term goal to avoid short term answers that don’t seem to make long-term plans possible. 

3. How do you plan on accomplishing your goals?

I would need to study all of the previous community needs assessments, as well as previous board meetings to learn historical direction of the board, taken out of context or order I might not understand all issues. I would also need to study in depth financial reports, as well as read the UC Health agreement that has to date not been possible for me to find. I would ask for the creation of a joint task force of medical providers and board members as a listening post. 

4. What experience do you have that qualifies you for the office you are seeking?

I got my Master’s in Healthcare Administration from Arizona State University in 1982. Since that time, I have worked with more than 10 different hospital boards, as well as other non-profit board for organization. I know proper protocol, as well as open meeting rules that must be followed. I also know the board has one employee, the CEO, and I know to not get involved in personal issues within the hospital as that is not in our scope. 

5. Do you feel you could be a good steward with taxpayer dollars? Why or why not?

As a tax payer in Campbell County, I would treat hospital dollars as my own, and I would be prudent in spending, and work toward improving financial solvency to the hospital at every turn. 

6. On the issue of transparency, where you stand on ensuring all public business is conducted openly and in a manner that encourages public attendance?

From the last two board meetings I attended, I have not witnessed a call from the audience or questions. Nor have I seen financial performance presented to the public. As a tax supported hospital, I believe these are the responsibility of the administration of the hospital. If for some reason they are not able to produce financials timely for a board meeting, I would request and additional public board meeting to be held at future dates to present financials. With previous statements that the hospital might be insolvent by 2026 made by hospital administration, the public is rightly concerned about financials. Not presenting them is not the way to reduce public anxiety. 

7. Do you believe the office or board position you seek has been open and honest with the public? If yes, how can the entity remain open and transparent when conducting public business moving forward? If not, what changes would you implement to ensure that all future dealings are open and transparent?

As I state in question 6, I am very concerned that the hospital has not released financials. This needs to be corrected at once, and continue to occur each month. I also question the use of executive session to the extent the current board is doing. Executive session is very closely regulated and I believe the current board is not staying within the intent of the regulations.

8. If you are presiding over a meeting and a topic was being discussed that you didn’t fully understand, would you ask for a more detailed explanation during the meeting or would you seek the information after the meeting?

It is the responsibility of any board member to come as prepared as possible to every board meeting. If issues have not been presented to the satisfaction of any board member, the board member has a responsibility to ask clear and concise questions. And for emotions to be left out of any discussions. It is perfectly ok to disagree with some issue, and to vote accordingly. A well-functioning board will not always have unanimous agreement on issues. And a board may even reject a vote of issues, that is the sign of a well-functioning, informed board. It would be my desire to work to helping this board perform in such a way. 

9. Should you be elected, or re-elected, do you plan on seeking any major policy changes in your chosen office? If yes, what would those changes be? If not, why not?

I would work toward having more transparency. I would work towards fuller research into major issues prior to making an announcement. And I would work towards celebrating when the hospital has a win on small or big issues. I believe the hospital needs to be better at telling their story to the public. 


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