Steamboat Springs Yampa Valley Medical Center will host a reception for three retiring members of its Board of Trustees at 5 p.m. this afternoon. They are Irlan Neas, Jane Weston and Gary Mielke.
Neas and Weston actually went off the hospital board in December 1999. Mielke recently resigned and will be moving to California, hospital spokesperson Christine McKelvie said.
Weston, who lives in Toponas, said the construction of the new hospital is of great significance to residents of south Routt.
"It's real important to us," Weston said. "And it's nice to see the accomplishment."
Weston has been impressed by the dramatic growth in the number of physicians affiliated with the hospital in her 6.5 years on the board.
"I think the staff is wonderful," she said.
Neas, a banker with Vectra Bank, has been on the hospital board for 18 years. He has the distinction of having attended the ground-breaking for the old hospital in 1948, the first year he moved here, then attending the ground breaking for the new hospital and seeing it built.
The hospital board began saving for the new hospital the first year he became a member, Neas recalled. The economic climate in Steamboat Springs was different in 1982, when Neas joined the hospital board.
"It was nothing like what we have today," Neas recalled. "Steamboat was in kind of a real estate slump."
Steamboat has been fortunate that its hospital has been able to show positive cash flow when other rural hospitals have struggled, he said. But even with income from patients with broken legs and injured knees coming off the ski mountain, he said nobody on the board in 1982 could have envisioned the new hospital their careful saving would someday build.
"Building the new hospital was one of the fun things about being on the board," Neas said.
McKelvie said Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak has already been appointed to succeed Weston. However, it's not yet clear if Neas and Mielke will be replaced. The board's bylaws do not require it to appoint new members to bring it up to its previous level of 11 trustees, she explained.
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