BALLINGER - Elections are slated in Runnels County on Tuesday Nov, 7. Five candidates have filed to run for four seats on the Ballinger Memorial Hospital District Board.

Incumbent and Board President Mike Dankworth and incumbenbt Bill Hunter will be running along with Dr. Bradly Bundrant, Brenda Joyce Waterfill and Bryan Jennings.

All of the candidates were asked to fill out a questionnaire and candidate profile. Early voting begins Monday, Oct. 23.

Name: Bradly Bundrant

Occupation: Physician.

Education: BS Chemistry, Master’s in Public Health (MPH), MD.

Clubs, organizations: Concho Valley Medical Society (CVCMS), Delegate to the Texas Medical Association from CVCMS, Health and Wellness Coalition for Runnels County and I recently applied for membership to Rotary Club and Lions Club.

Family: I live in Ballinger with my wife Jo. Our daughter Anna lives in San Antonio with her husband and four children. My son Marcus lives with his wife and son in Roy, Utah; he has another son who lives with his first wife in Chaparral, NM.

What are the most important issues you want to address if elected or re-elected to the board of the Ballinger Memorial Hospital District?

My impression is that the medical professionals in our community do not feel negativity toward each other and there is no resentment or opposition by people in the wider community toward the hospital, as I have seen in some places. On the other hand, there has historically not been a lot of real cooperation among local medical professionals, and I don't have the impression that very many in the community feel much connection with or pride toward the hospital. It seems that we are all co-located, but we are not together. I believe we can and should do better. First, there needs to be an ongoing effort to determine the unmet needs of Runnels County in regard to health and wellness. Second, the board members, physicians and top level management of the District need to develop a strategic plan that focuses on involving and strengthening the community, as well as on the identified unmet needs, along with continuous quality improvement, staff development, and growth in market share. Finally, we need to create external alliances that will allow us to keep our independence and local control.

What do you feel qualifies you for a position on the Ballinger Memorial Hospital District Board?

I graduated from Texas Tech as a medical doctor, and I did a residency in Family Medicine, which means that I learned to take care of patients one individual at a time. I also went on to study population health and healthcare delivery systems, receiving a Master’s Degree in Public Health. Most importantly however, I still remember what it is like to be a patient. In addition to getting older now and starting to be a patient myself (or to be the husband of a patient) on a more and more regular basis, I still remember what it was like when I was a little boy growing up in Portales, NM. When I would get sick enough to worry mother, we would go to Dr. Lehman’s office in the morning and wait for hours until it was our turn. I remember the attention and care that the doctor and his nurse, Georgia Brown, would deliver… even if it entailed (no pun intended) a shot. I know that there are two things that are more important than anything else in medicine. In order to deliver good healthcare, a person must listen and they must care. CARE is the very foundation of healthCARE, and listening is where it all begins. I believe that my education and experience together with my feeling and caring are good qualifications for this position.

What do you think you can bring to the district if elected?

 First and foremost I can bring the vision of listening and caring as the two elements that must be present in every encounter within the Hospital District’s purview. Also, as a physician who has studied organizations and population health and who has applied continuous quality improvement methods in healthcare settings I believe that I can help forge a strategic plan and meld the elements of listening and caring to it, and I think that the relationships I have developed in Ballinger over the last several years will help to get the buy-in necessary to make the vision a reality. Finally, I have relationships with key individuals in other locations that will be useful in forging strong external alliances in order that we continue to be connected to other communities and to larger systems, but still remain independent.