Stahoviak continues to work

Telephone, computer keep commissioner connected to county

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— Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak's primary focus is getting well, but she is continuing to work on county business.

From her Denver hospital room, Stahoviak sat in on several conference calls last week with fellow commissioners Doug Monger and Dan Ellison.

Stahoviak has been hospitalized since mid-month.

The county is making arrangements to provide her with a laptop computer so she can receive e-mails and communicate on county business.

"She'll be able to get e-mails and tell us all what to do," Routt County Manager Tom Sullivan said.

Stahoviak is listed in fair condition, and has been out of the intensive care unit since early last week, said spokesperson Stephanie Lewis.

Stahoviak first became sick in early December and was later flown to Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver.

Once at the hospital, Stahoviak was placed on a dialysis machine for kidney failure and was monitored closely for infections in her kidneys and knee implants.

Since then, she has become more mobile, making it from her bed to the doorway on a walker, Sullivan said.

"With what she has been through, that's a pretty big improvement," Sullivan said.

Her orthopedic surgeon wants Stahoviak to stay at the Denver hospital so both of her knee implants can be replaced, Sullivan said. The surgery will take place after her medical condition stabilizes, likely in about two weeks.

The doctors plan to replace one knee at a time, a process that will be followed with physical therapy and a longer stay in Denver, Sullivan said.

By state law, Stahoviak cannot communicate directly with the other commissioners via e-mail, Sullivan said, because it would violate open meetings rules.

Her husband, Ron, has taken work to her on weekends, but Sullivan said Stahoviak's main complaint has been that she only has until Sunday to get work done.

Monger and Ellison said the fact that both of them have to be present at meetings to have a quorum hasn't presented difficulties.

"We're always here anyhow," Monger said.

The bigger difficulty, they said, is that they have had to fill in on work on some of the issues Stahoviak was leading.

That work includes establishing the Yampa Valley Housing Authority and the South Routt Community Economic Assess-ment.

In a conference call with media and commissioners last week, Stahoviak said she is improving and is thankful for all of the support she has received from residents throughout the county.

Instead of sending flowers and gifts, Stahoviak encouraged people to contribute to the Community Foundation's Good Beginnings Never End fund for early childhood education, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority or United Way.


-- To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail sbacon@steamboatpilot.com

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