The responsibilities of the Hospital District board, include managing Walker County Tax funds that are set aside for hospital management and to provide hospital services to needy patients who are residents of Walker County. There are 3 seats available on the board, the 3 candidates who get the most votes will be elected as the managing board members, starting in January. This is a nonpartisan race, so voting a straight party ticket will not allow you to vote for Hospital Board candidates. You will need to go to the nonpartisan portion of the ballot to vote.
Ron Lange has been a Huntsville resident for 40 years. He lives here with his wife and raised his 2 children here. They both attended Huntsville public schools. He owns a business in Huntsville and works as a professional Registered Land Surveyor.
Mr. Lange has been on the Hospital District Board for 14 years. He says, “My desire is to continue to represent the community through the negotiation process and transition to a new owner for Huntsville Memorial Hospital, using my experience and knowledge to seek a buyer with a strong financial footing, a record of good management, and the ability to work with the community, patients, and medical staff, and provide a high level of care for all to include legally-required indigent care, while minimizing the financial burden on our community.”
Mr. Lange explains the most important issue currently facing the Walker County Hospital District Board. “This is a very critical time for the Walker County Hospital District. It is in the middle of negotiating the sale of the most important asset of this community: our citizen-owned Huntsville Memorial Hospital. The District is charged to provide a hospital and indigent health care for Walker County. The most important issue facing the WCHD Board is the sale of the hospital to a viable buyer, while keeping the financial burden on our community as low as possible. The record shows that the WCHD tax rate has remained the same since I have been on the board, even as the cost of health care has escalated, and rural hospitals lose revenue from reduced bargaining power with insurance providers, and downward adjustments to Medicare payments. The negotiations and the decisions that are taking place now and in the near future require knowledge and experience that I have gained in my tenure on the board.
Another issue is the confusion many people have regarding the two boards associated with our hospital. There are two managing boards: the WC Hospital District board members are elected by WC voters, while the Huntsville Memorial Hospital Board is private. The WC Hospital District does NOT run the hospital. The Hospital District leases the hospital building (still citizen-owned at this time) to the Huntsville Memorial Hospital Corporation, which owns the license to operate the hospital; they staff and manage the hospital, and they have their own board. For example, a common misconception is that the WCH District Board makes the decision to treat and accept incarcerated individuals as patients, but in truth, this decision is up to HMH and their board members. As a hospital, HMH is legally required to provide care for individuals that cannot pay, and this is where the WCH District comes in. The District Board approves reimbursement to HMH and doctors for services provided to indigents.”
Early voting begins October 24th at the Walker County Annex located at 1301 Sam Houston Avenue and the Veteran’s Museum/Storm Shelter located at 463 State Highway 75 N.
Say Yes to Huntsville! “This article was written by Daiquiri Beebe, the Huntsville Realtor, as a benefit to the community of Huntsville, the place where I love to live.”