Incumbent Katherine Davidson says voters should give her another term on the Kennewick Public Hospital District Board because of her public accounting experience and knowledge of hospital finances.
"Kennewick (General Hospital) is growing; 2011 is very good," Davidson said. "We have no signs right now of slowing down. I think the board and the administration work very well together. I think we need to keep that on track."
In particular, Davidson, 47, says voters shouldn't change board members mid-stream when the district is close to securing financing to build a new hospital in the Southridge area.
"Southridge will happen," she said. "We are very close to that."
Davidson was elected to the board in 2008, defeating then-incumbent Dr. Rod Coler. She has a background in finance and public accounting, and is chairwoman of the board's finance committee. Her husband, Duane Davidson, is Benton County treasurer.
Challenger William "Bill" Alsdurf says his 30 years working in health care, including as CEO and chief financial officer of Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston, make him a good candidate.
"I don't intend to bad mouth Kathy," Alsdurf said. "She has done a great job. I think I have a lot more credentials to offer. ... I think Kennewick General is a great place. It has good leadership. I look forward to being part of that team."
Alsdurf, 71, said his experience can help the hospital through tough times as state and federal budgets are cut, creating both direct and indirect financial ripples for hospitals.
While he supports the Southridge project, he said one thing KGH can do well is remain small and community-focused instead of trying to compete with the larger Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland.
He said he would not want to see the two hospitals merge, or for Kadlec to become the only hospital in the Tri-Cities.
"I happen to believe that small facilities give better care, more personal care," he said. "That would be one reason to keep KGH (in the community). I wouldn't want one hospital in the Tri-Cities. I think KGH will do a better job in certain areas."
Davidson said KGH's focus should be on building at Southridge, and not on what Kadlec is doing.
"This board is really good about just paying attention to what KGH is doing," she said. "Otherwise we would be chasing them all the time. We just need to keep on course. I feel we are doing this very well."
For more information, visit Davidson's campaign website at http://kathyforkgh.com. Alsdurf does not have a website.