Voters fill seats on hospital board
Voters filled five Lee Memorial Health System Board of directors seats Tuesday night.
The incumbents, Richard Akin and Nancy McGovern, won the two seats for the Lee Memorial Health System District 2. Akin had 34.96 percent of the votes — 72,233 — and McGovern had 42.91 percent of the votes — 88,648. Aaron Babb had 12.66 percent of the votes — 26,161, and Liston Bochette had 9.47 percent — 19,565.
McGovern said she is happy that she won the race and will continue to improve the quality of Lee Memorial Health System.
“We need to continue to improve upon it and keep up the quality that we do have,” she said. “We always want to improve upon something.”
McGovern, who has already served on the board for 12 years, said she wants to continue to improve the access for patients as well as continue to work with the physicians. Some of the improvements she has seen include improving access to convenient care, the continued work on placing a mental facility in Lee County, along with improving the Children’s Tower at the Children’s Hospital and providing a nursing mentor program.
“I am pleased that I can continue to work for our community and continue to work for our nurses because, once a nurse always a nurse — that is a motto that many of us carry with us,” McGovern said. “I really believe in giving back and I am so very happy to continue my work for our community.”
Winners of the District 4 seat were candidates Diane Champion, who had 20.37 percent of the votes — 42,225, and Chris Hansen had 22.27 percent of the votes — 46,179, defeating incumbents Frank T. La Rosa, who finished with 11.03 percent of the votes — 22,876, and Dawson McDaniel, 10.47 percent of the votes — 21,707.
Other District 4 candidates included Gary Eidson, who had 9.20 percent of the votes — 19,067, Joann Conti Ellis, who received 12.81 percent of the votes — 26,561 and John Lawlor, who earned 13.85 percent of the votes — 28,720.
Hansen said he is very thankful and humble to have that much support and extended confidence from the community to win one of the seats on the Lee Memorial Health System Board of Directors. He said he is privileged to serve the community because he is very passionate about health care.
Once he is seated on the board of directors, Hansen said his first responsibility is to get an overview of the system and begin to learn the roles and responsibilities of the specific areas he will focus on.
Donald Brown claimed the District 5 seat with 34.63 percent of the votes — 39,952. He will fill the seat of board member Jason Moon, who resigned from the position, leaving one open seat due to board member James Green’s term not ending until 2012. Brown will serve a two-year term until 2012.
“I am very pleased,” Brown said about the results. “I think it is a great organization, we have a great staff and administration.”
He explained that he cannot say enough about the people he ran against.
“I am thankful that I won and will do everything I can to make the hospital a better place,” Brown said. “I want to thank everyone for their confidence and support and I will do everything I can to make them proud.”
Once Brown is seated on the board he wants to try to get a little closer handle on the issues, along with working on the Children’s Tower at HealthPark in the pediatrics section.
The other District 5 candidates were Tyler Dupuy, who had 18.92 percent of the votes — 21,832; Donnie Laubheimer, who received 13.88 percent of the votes — 16,013; and Bill Silverman, who collected had 32.57 percent of the votes — 37,569.
District 1 Vice Chairman Marilyn Stout and board member Stephen Brown and District 3 Secretary Linda Brown and board member Lois Barrett’s terms do not end until 2012.
The board consists of 10 publicly elected officials, which is broken down into two members for five different districts. They are elected for four-year staggered terms.
Those who are elected will be in charge of overseeing five acute care hospitals, a rehabilitation hospital, a children’s hospital, a skilled nursing facility, multi-speciality physician groups, along with various subsidiaries and sub agencies. They also pursue educational projects and efforts.
Akin and Champion could not be reached Tuesday night for comment.