GILLETTE, Wyo. — Election season is well underway and County 17 has sent a list of questions to candidates who have filed to run for office.
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 Lisa Harry who is running for a seat on the Campbell County Health Board of Trustees:
1. Who are you?
Lisa Harry. I’ve lived in Gillette since 1984. I’m retired from Campbell County Health, and currently serve on the Board of Trustees, as well as the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board, and the Wyoming Miner’s Board.
2. Why have you decided to run for office and what do you hope to accomplish should you be elected?
I’m running for re-election because we have a long way to go still in accomplishing our goals for CCH. We have made big changes in the last few years, changes that will make significant differences in how we do business. We’ve identified areas where we can increase revenue, where we can strengthen what exists, and to continue to offer what is important to our community. I will continue to advocate for our hospitals in the region as part of the AHA policy board, which allows me to really represent rural healthcare in Wyoming. I will continue to advocate for the safety of our employees as well by pursuing harsher penalties for workplace violence. Most important though, is not just business, but WHY we do what we do. It is all about PATIENT CARE. We are here to deliver the very best care to all of our patients every single time. And we do a really good job of doing just that.
Last month I testified before a judicial committee in a bill that would make violence against healthcare workers a felony offense, as it is for Law enforcement and firefighters. I will continue to work with the Wyoming Hospital Association advocating for our workers. I am constantly updating myself with issues regarding the issues hospitals are facing.
4. What experience do you have that qualifies you for the office you are seeking?
I worked for our hospital for a number of years. I want to represent all employees and my community because I feel it’s important to recognize how decisions made by the board and administration affect the staff and the public. I’ve been involved in my community for years in many different ways, volunteering and working. I know this community well and feel I have that spirit of Gillette and Campbell County to represent well on this board.
5. Do you feel you could be a good steward with taxpayer dollars? Why or why not?
Being a steward of our finances is only one of the Fiduciary Responsibilities of a trustee. We are always involved in matters of finance presented to us by Administration. One thing to note- we do receive mill levy funding, which comes from property tax. Our portion is about $ 13 million dollars this year. In the big picture, it’s not a big part of our total budget. When people ask where the money goes, I can tell you that it goes right back into the community in the form of charity care, which helps your friends and family who cannot pay.
Hospitals across the nation are struggling with high prices, supply chain interruptions,extreme worker shortages and costs, inflation, pharmaceutical shortages and drug pricing. We are all struggling with reimbursement from both government entities and commercial payers. We now have the ability to purchase supplies at a top tier level with our affiliation with UC Health, which saves us huge amounts of money. We have contacted with a company (Ensemble) to do our billing. This alone is saving us millions in lost charges and correct and accurate timely billing. We have identified areas where we can be leaner while maintaining the same excellent level of care.
6. On the issue of transparency, where do you stand on ensuring all public business is conducted openly and in a manner that encourages public attendance?
Anthing that can and should be public is disclosed. Our meetings always allow for public comment. They are broadcast on GPA tv. Anyone can reach out to us. Our information is published on the CCH website.
7. How have you made your office or board more transparent and open with the public?
It always has been public. As I stated before, information is available. No one is hiding anything. That seems to be the buzzword these days. But transparency can mean many different things, and somehow there are people who have tried to imply that CCH has not openly provided information. That is simply not the case. When it is appropriate to do so, information regarding CCH will be made public. There is much that goes on in social media groups that may not be truth, and we try to address those issues as well through the proper channels. Transparency also refers to conflicts of interest. One must disclose any conflicts that include competition with services the hospital provides.
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?
We are a well-prepared board, and that too is an important responsibility. We do our homework and have agenda items before a meeting. Everyone including the public can as well. If I have a question I can ask the appropriate parties and do research on my own. If it’s an issue I feel needs to be discussed during a meeting, I can ask that the item be placed on the agenda for discussion. I come into a meeting with knowledge and understanding of the agenda as well as what’s generally happening around the hospital. The role of a board member is GOVERNANCE. We do not involve ourselves in operations. Our job is to oversee the CEO and insure that the goals and strategic plans are implemented.
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?