BY D. Beasley
Barbara Casas, who is running for re-election to the Kern River Valley Healthcare District Board of Trustees, looks forward to seeing improvements recently proposed in the district’s strategic planning process.
“The employees of Kern Valley Healthcare District are very dedicated and forward thinking, the executives and department managers strive for excellence constantly,” she told the Kern Valley Sun in a statement. “It shows in patient care, acuity, and rewards of standards, developed on-going.”
The new strategic plan “promises us continuity of improved and life-saving care for the patients who use the services,” she said. “I hope to be of service to see the completion of these new innovative services and standards developed as a result. The changes in our governance state-wide would help achieve that goal also.”
Casas was first elected to the board in 1992 and has served five terms so far.
“During that first term I developed an event informing the community of the great donation of the land for the purpose of building a hospital,” she wrote. “At that time both of the Kissacks — William and Grace were alive. It was well received by the community.”
She has held all offices on the board from chair to treasurer.
She has chaired various committees during her tenure on the board, working on developing new services and revenue generation “and of course keeping up with federal and state law regarding the health and safety of fellow members of our community and out-lying areas,” she said.
In her time on the board, she has seen much progress in the Kern Valley.
“I have also seen many frustrations of services not fulfilled because of the small community we live in and also the ‘higher-up-trickle-down-theory-of revenue’ generated by our state government,” she wrote. “Seeking new ways to develop, improve and generate new services at low cost is a constant drive among all health care workers.”
The Kern Valley Hospital District was founded in 1964 to operate a 24-bed hospital. It changed its name in 1998 to the Kern River Valley Healthcare District.
The agency has grown from serving a population of 5,000 people in 1964 to 25,000 today.