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Peter Hershberger

Apr 26, 2016

Profession: Registered Nurse

Age: 47

Where do you live? Snowmass Village

How long have you lived in the valley? 15 years

In what capacity have you used AVH?  How would you rate your experience and why? I am a frequent consumer of healthcare because of my juvenile diabetes so I'm a patient as well as an employee. My patient visits at the hospital have always been tremendous. The staff are second to none. What we lack is a modern facility with privacy for patients and that is now being built.

What compelled you to run for a board seat? The Board picked the wrong candidate for CEO two years ago and has been forced to run the hospital from the board room. During this time the community and staff have felt a leadership void and it has motivated me to run for the board. I love AVH and our community and want whats best for us all.

Have you ever attended a board meeting? If so, for what reason? I have attended board meetings; the last was when the board interviewed the two finalists for the CEO position. I wanted to meet the candidates and hear them speak in person. I have viewed other meetings on the AVH Internet. The past two years are available for viewing if people are interested.

What makes you qualified to serve? I’ve been in healthcare for 25 years working in many different facilities including large Boston Hospitals, was director of the worlds largest most reputable diabetes camp before moving to Aspen to manage the cardiology practice at AVH. Outside of healthcare I have been the President of my homeowners association for 10 years protecting the value and providing financial stability for 100 free market worker homes through the great recession. I have taught health in the local school system as well as coached winter sports and high school boys and girls tennis for AHS. I feel I know the health care needs of the locals both young and old as well as anybody in the valley. In addition I bring the unique perspective of knowing 90% of my fellow employees by name and know what goes on at the Hospital on a daily basis.

What is the most important issue facing AVH? Healthcare in general? How will you address it? The most important issue facing AVH is the communities' mistrust. The editorials this past week have spoken about a board re-electing friends versus actively promoting the election and the candidates in the community. If elected to the board I will push to end the frequent practice of closed board sessions so the community can be more involved with input at the board level. The most important issue facing healthcare in general are the skyrocketing costs. The hospital is involved with The Valley Health Alliance as well as The Western Health Alliance, two groups working to control costs and improve patient outcomes. As a board member I would be sure we would continue our association with these two groups to help make health care more affordable for our patients.

The biggest job in front of the board of directors is to hire a CEO. What does the ultimate candidate look like? Is a local candidate who knows the community and hospital preferable? A local candidate would likely be a better fit as CEO. A local candidate would know our kids and the challenges that they face as they mature and start to access the healthcare system more and more. My first move as a board member would be to reach out to the runners up of the last CEO search John Sarpa and Peter Hofstetter to see if they would be interested in quickly stepping into the position versus waiting for a full nationwide CEO search that might have a new CEO at AVH in a year. We have had a rough two years with multiple departures from our administration as Valley View expands into the mid-valley market. We should not wait another full year if one of the past finalist is willing to take the helm next month.