QA with candidates for North Valley Hospital District Board

Tina Holan and Stephanie Steinman are running for Position 4 on the North Valley Hospital Board of Commissioners.

Stephanie Steinman and Tina Holan are seeking a position on the North Valley Hospital District Board of Commissioners.

Stephanie Steinman and Tina Holan are seeking a position on the North Valley Hospital District Board of Commissioners.

Holan and Steinman will meet in the November general election seeking NVH Board Position #4

Name: Stephanie Steinman

Age: 46

Occupation: Registered Nurse, Pharmacy Technician, Pharmacy Owner

Education: BA Psychology University of Montana, AA Nursing Spokane Community College, BS Nursing Western Governors University

Community service: Tonasket Okanogan Valley Lions Club member since 2016, current board member. North Valley Hospital Long Range Focus Committee member. Former board member of the Oroville Chamber of Commerce.

Elected office experience: none

Tell voters a little about yourself: In 2015, my husband and I moved our family to Tonasket and then moved to Oroville in 2020. Prior to moving to this area, I worked as a lead district nurse for East Valley School District in Spokane and before that I had worked as an RN at Deer Park School District, Horizon Hospice and Holy Family Hospital. After moving here, I was an RN for Confluence Health at their Omak and Tonasket clinics. In January 2018, my husband and I opened Lakeside Pharmacy in Oroville. When Lakeside was first opened, I continued to work at Confluence full time and would work part time on the pharmacy business in the evenings and on the weekends. Then, in 2019, we began working on opening Whitestone Pharmacy for Tonasket. At that point, I left my job at Confluence so I could focus full time on operating Lakeside and opening Whitestone as quickly as possible.

As we worked on opening Whitestone, we also began attending hospital board meetings. It was a bit sporadic at first but I have now been regularly attending meetings for the past year. Sitting in on these meetings has helped me understand what a great responsibility a hospital commissioner has in keeping our public hospital running and what the position entails. At one of the meetings earlier this year, it was mentioned that they were looking for a new member for the Long Range Focus Committee and were hoping to find someone in the northern part of the district. Since we live in Oroville, I reached out to learn more about the committee and shortly after began attending the committee meetings and have been participating in developing North Valley Hospital’s three-year strategic plan that will be implemented in 2024. I have learned a lot over the past six years about the business side of healthcare and how it is unlike any other business model. My family’s business experience is in grocery, so the business of pharmacy/healthcare was a whole new world that I had to learn. But, I am driven by helping people- that is why I became an RN and it is why we opened our pharmacies — and everyone who knows me will tell you that when I am driven I am unstoppable. This drive has motivated me to learn the business so we can operate our pharmacies efficiently to keep our doors open and offer new services to the community increasing access to care in our rural area.

What is the importance of the public hospital district? The public hospital district is our community’s closest point of access to care. As a healthcare provider, I know that access to care is directly related to health outcomes. People who can get access to care in a timely manner are more likely to have positive health outcomes. We need our hospital to remain viable and provide quality care for our community.

Tell voters a little about what you hope to bring to the board if elected? I bring a variety of experiences working in different aspects of healthcare which will give me a unique perspective to provide to the board. I have worked in community settings, hospitals, clinics and also own and operate a healthcare business with my husband. These experiences will provide me with the knowledge and experience to help make effective decisions as a board member to keep our hospital viable.

What are the most important issues in improving the quality of primary and specialty care offered at North Valley Hospital? My experience working in healthcare has shown me that quality care comes from quality teams. We need quality healthcare professionals and support staff – doctors, mid level practitioners, pharmacists, registered nurses, CNA’s, lab technicians, kitchen staff, laundry staff, receptionists, insurance billing, accountants who understand that they are part of the team and everyone must work together to bring quality care to the people in our community. We’ve discussed this issue in our Long Range Focus committee meetings and try to think of ways to continue to improve patient experiences at North Valley Hospital. Recruiting and retaining quality staff can be difficult in rural communities and is one of the primary issues that affects our local healthcare facilities. Healthcare is not a static profession, we have to constantly learn and keep up on best practice, rules, regulations, laws etc. Local healthcare facilities can help their staff members keep up on these things by providing training opportunities on site, via webinar or through continuing education opportunities. If staff have access to these resources, willingness to learn and can work together as a team I believe our hospital can provide the quality care our community members deserve.

What do you believe is currently impacting local health care programs the most? There are many issues impacting healthcare across our country and these issues are often magnified in our local health care programs because we are rural and have limited resources. One issue that affects the hospital as well as our pharmacies is staffing. It can be difficult to recruit and retain quality healthcare providers in rural areas. We have to be creative in our approach and find providers and staff members who love the small town lifestyle that we love and want to be part of our community. Another major factor that affects all healthcare entities is insurance reimbursements. Insurance companies rule our healthcare system and smaller providers have less pull than larger entities. Operating a healthcare business is different from any other business and my insight and understanding of how healthcare works will be beneficial for the North Valley Hospital Board.

Why should voters choose you as a NVH board member? Voters should choose me as their next North Valley Hospital Board member because I have the knowledge and experience to start focusing on important issues the first day I’m sworn in. I already have an understanding of how healthcare works and won’t need to learn the basics before I can start operating effectively as a board member. I have experience working in healthcare and experience operating a healthcare business. This makes me the perfect person for this position and I hope to serve our community as your next North Valley Hospital Board member.

Name: Tina Holan

Age: 52

Occupation: Owner/Bookkeeper at Holan Enterprises , Distributor for Young Living Essential Oils

Education: Pateros Elementary-High School, Capital High School Class of 1989, South Puget Sound Community College 1990,

Community service:Tonasket Junior Rodeo Treasurer 2009-2014, Precinct Committee Officer since 2021, OCRP Executive Board Member since December 2022 and Legislative District 7 Committee Representative since December 2022

Elected office experience: Precinct Committee Officer at OCRP

Tell voters a little about yourself: I’ve been married to my husband and best friend for over 32 years. We have owned and operated a construction business since 1990. I have a background in real estate and hold some aromatherapy certifications. I love gardening, hiking, outdoors, and spending time with my grandkids and family. I’ve spent most of my life in Okanogan County, being raised in Methow and we have lived in the beautiful Aeneas Valley since 2000.

What is the importance of the public hospital district? Maintaining a well-functioning hospital is critical for the health and safety of our community. My family has relied on the hospital over the years, and now my grandchildren are being raised here. Providing emergency medical services is vital for our rural residents.

Tell voters a little about what you hope to bring to the board if elected? I bring a fresh, new outside perspective, my ethics and morals, business experience, life experience and my love of this community. I am qualified for this position, and will look to the current hospital commissioners for their expertise. Having a background in commission-only sales has given me experience in balancing and meeting the needs of all parties involved. This is an important skill in buffering the needs and values of the community and the government agencies involved.

What are the most important issues in improving the quality of primary and specialty care offered at North Valley Hospital? Housing and being able to offer competitive salaries is critical in our ability to recruit and maintain qualified health care providers.

What do you believe is currently impacting local health care programs the most? Being regimented by state and federal programs that limit local control. We are impacted by corporate health care systems that have resulted in loss of services such as a birthing facility.

Why should voters choose you as a NVH board member? I am a long-standing citizen of this area and have a vested interest in the future of our community. I grew up in the county, my children were raised here and my grandchildren are being raised here. I’ve lived in other areas in the state, but this area is home. I’ve spent the past few years learning more about our political systems – how they work and how to maintain them. Now that my kids are grown, I have more time to serve in this capacity and would be honored to do so.