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Paynesville Press - Oct. 31, 2012

Paynesville Area Hospital Board - Eden Lake Township
Ross Amundson

Ross Amundson

Ross Amundson, 52, was elected to the hospital board in 2004 and has served four years on the board. A native of Starbuck, he began practicing law in Eden Valley in 1987 and purchased a law firm in Paynesville in 1995. He lives on Rice Lake with his wife Michele and one daughter. He also serves on the finance committee and as vice chair of the hospital board.

Why are you interested in serving on the board?
The availability of local, quality healthcare is important to me and our community. I want to be able to continue my involvement in exploration of what the appropriate next steps are to ensure a a solid foundation for PAHCS now and in the future.

As PAHCS awaits the due diligence study about a possible alignment with CentraCare, what pros and cons do you see in a merger?
At this point the future of the relationship with CentraCare is undefined. We have begun initial discussions but much is left to be determined. If there is a more formal relationship, PAHCS will benefit from a larger financial base, more service options and health care providers, and enhanced facilities. The con would be the potential for the loss of or lessened local decision-making.

What pros and cons do you see in remaining an independent health care system?
Remaining independent will ensure decision-making remains local. The challenge in remaining independent is to keep pace and maintain compliance with the onslaught of health care regulations and requirements.

Under what scenarios would you support PAHCS using it taxing authority?
I would support the use of taxing if all other revenue options had been explored and/or exhausted and reimbursement changes would jeopardize PAHCS' ability to continue to offer quality care.

How important is long- term care to PAHCS's mission of "Caring for Life"?
I struggle with the issue of long-term care. I believe in PACHS' integrated vision, which includes long-term care. However, being a critical -access hospital that includes a nursing home has a negative effect on government reimbursements, which can impact the fiscal health of PAHCS.

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