Scribner, Essen vie for two-year Syringa trustee positions
Three file for four-year term
By Lorie Palmer
Idaho County Free Press
GRANGEVILLE — Syringa Hospital’s board of trustees will see two new board members following the Tuesday, May 19, election.
For one open two-year-term position, filed are Judy Scribner and Barbara Essen, both of Grangeville.
Judy Scribner has lived in Idaho County for 24 years. She is a licensed practical nurse. She worked for Place County Health Dept. in California, Sisters of Mercy Convent Infirmary, Auburn Faith Hospital, and then spent 15 years at the Idaho County Nursing Home in Grangeville.
After attending hospital conventions and classes for board members with her husband, Scott, who served as a trustee for more than five years, she said she has learned about the issues rural hospitals face and decided giving a nurse’s point of view might be helpful.
“My goal for Syringa would be that we could come up with a solution for the heliport that will satisfy our district,” Scribner said. “Keeping up with a technology in the future, I hope we can have our own mammogram and MRI, instead of mobile units.”
Scribner would also like to look into the ability to treat chemotherapy patients locally.
“I would like to see our services broaden to cover more of our district,” she stated.
Scribner has served as a member of the Idaho-Lewis County Cattle Association and has helped barbecue for fund-raising events including 4-H.
For the past five years, Barbara Essen has served as pastor of the United Methodist churches in Grangeville and White Bird. In all, she has served as a minister for more than 25 years, mostly in small churches in eastern Washington and Idaho. Before becoming a minister she taught grade school for a number of years.
Essen has a master’s degree in elementary education as well as a master of divinity degree. She currently helps teach “Fit and Fall Proof” senior exercise twice a week at Groaners in Grangeville and is also a part of the Syringa Hospital chaplaincy rotation.
“Members of the community asked me to run for the hospital board, and I feel that people should have a choice,” Essen said. “It is an area where I can give back to the community. Our hospital is something that we cannot do without and volunteers are always needed. An effective board is critical.”
Essen said she feels it is important for the board members to be good listeners and feels she can do that.
“I have experience working on committees that are not always of one mind. I have been around small hospitals and nursing homes and have some sense of the problems they face,” she said.
Essen said she would like to see more communication between the board and the people throughout the service area.
“The board only has so many resources and they have to spread them out where they will do the most good. They need to encourage and help the patrons of the Syringa Hospital taxing district to be informed about the hospital and to meet them in their space at times for dialogue,” she emphasized. “The hospital needs a heliport and we need to continue working to find the best possible solution for the people of the service area and the hospital. I’m sure it won’t be perfect for everyone, but sometimes we have to give up some things for the good of the whole. The sooner we can find a solution, the better. We need to be willing to reevaluate the needs of the whole service area and how the hospital can best meet and serve these needs. I will work to address issues or concerns regarding patient care and medical services.”
Three people have filed for one four-year term: Morris Bentley of Grangeville, Steven Didier of Kooskia and Paula Calcaterra of Harpster. None of these candidates responded to the Free Press’ request for information prior to press time.
Uncontested: Two six-year-term positions are open, sought by Dave Green and Craig Spencer, both of Grangeville.