— Submitted by Jenny Ledford
I’m Jenny Ledford and I am running for Public Hospital District Commissioner, Position 3.
My husband, Richard, and I have lived on San Juan Island for thirteen years as full-time residents. We are both retired. Richard retired as the football coach for our beloved Wolverines and we remain forever supporters of all things purple and gold.
My career, spanning over 30 years, began in selling real estate and went on to teaching real estate as a faculty member of the Graduate Realtors Institute, which offers advanced certification nationally for all realtors. For over 20 years I owned a corporate consulting company that did assessments for under-performing government agencies and private corporations. My company was also affiliated with the Pacific Institute in Seattle, Washington, and I served as both Vice President of Corporate Development and later, Vice President of Corporate Education.
Knowing how to lay a foundation for leadership to become strategic thinkers as well as strategic planners paid measurable dividends for the 300+ projects I directed. Often I was engaged in solving and resolving conflicts within an agency or corporation. Bringing about re-alignment in thinking and working toward mutual cooperation of shared goals is a hallmark of my career.
Some of my clients in the health care arena included, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the Health Protection Branch of Canada, independent hospitals, hospital chains, and our local San Juan Island EMS. Other clients I served were broad ranged; restaurant chains, 5 star hotels, textile manufacturing, and the Georgia Tech Basketball Team when they went to the final four!
My professional background provides an excellent fit with the duties of a Hospital District Commissioner. I believe the scope and diversity of my work in both national and local venues uniquely qualifies me for this position.
Here are my immediate goals and focus to fulfill the job of Hospital Commissioner as outlined by the State of Washington:
1. Stewardship of our hospital district resources. The role of the commissioner is predominantly fiduciary, a position requiring a relationship of trust in securing and managing funds generated by the two tax-based district levies.
2. Open, honest communication within our community about the health care services overseen by the Hospital District Commission. I look forward to speaking with you about the good story of Peace Island Medical Center and the bright future that lies ahead for all of us because we have this excellent facility. Since PIMC was founded, services available to patients have been dramatically increased, diagnostic and treatment capability beyond what was possible in the past has merged with enhanced professional staffing, and the necessity for emergency flights off-island has significantly lessened. Before PIMC opened in 2012 we all had to endure the ramshackle Interisland Medical Center and countless off-island trips for many of our medical needs. Are you counted as one of the 8,000 less trips off island since PIMC opened? I am.
3. In the short time since candidates registered for the Hospital District Commission, I have discovered that the distinctions between the Hospital Commission, the Hospital Board, the County Health Department, and other entities entrusted with health care in San Juan County are blurred. I can answer your questions about the distinctions. Another focus of mine could be collectively titled “myth busting.” Some candidates who are concentrating campaign energy on various aspects of end-of-life directives and women’s health issues are distressingly uninformed about the role of a hospital commissioner. Clarifying misconceptions about the hospital with facts to dispel some of the especially harmful rumors is one of my goals.
4. I am aware of how important it is to island residents to be fully aware of all the topics concerning the 2016 levy for the continuation of the EMS services. I was able to offer my experience to the EMS this year, working with their personnel on a pro-bono basis, helping to lay a foundation for problem solving and conflict resolution. A natural extension of this previous work would be to participate as a member of the PHD Board of Commissioners in the realignment occasioned by the transition to a new EMS Chief. I am well-informed about the EMS issues. I see opportunities where the PHD Commissioners can continue supporting the national award services that we have come to rely on and trust from our EMS. When it is important to you they are there; competent, caring, and committed to your needs. I pledge my support to serving this agency in my role as a commissioner.
I will evaluate every issue that comes to the Commission with fairness, objectivity, and a sense of optimism, fulfilling my duties without being driven by a personal agenda. This seems like a given until you stop and consider how little is accomplished and how much time is wasted with mutual distrust, negative attitudes, and hidden agendas. We need a positive and constructive outlook.
I want to share my ideas with you, hear your concerns, and assure you how favorable the future is for our healthcare on San Juan Island.
I ask for your trust and your vote on November 3rd.