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Columbia Missourian

Rocheport man challenges incumbent for Boone Hospital Center board position

By Alix Wiggins
February 12, 2010 | 12:01 a.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Following a negative experience at Boone Hospital Center, Ronald Gini will challenge incumbent Barbara Weaver for one of five positions on the board of trustees in April's election.

Weaver, a member of the Boone Hospital board of directors since 1981, is a retired nurse and a member of the BJC finance committee and the BJC board of directors. BJC HealthCare, a company out of St. Louis, runs the hospital, but it is owned by Boone County and governed by a five-member board of trustees.

Gini, a retired graphic artist from Rocheport, decided to run for the board after what he described as a not-so-pleasant experience at Boone Hospital Center. After a triple bypass surgery in March, Gini was sent home on oxygen only to return a few days later with a urinary tract infection and pneumonia. He blamed lack of cleanliness and an understaffed hospital for his problems.

"Unfortunately, it was the only place that offered the surgery at the time," he said. "I'm not happy with what's going on at the hospital."

Gini worked for two years at a neurologist's office and considers himself familiar with what goes on in a hospital. He recently learned that a trustee seat was opening up and said he wants to represent the "common, everyday person" on the board.

Although the hospital is owned by BJC HealthCare, Gini believes the money should stay in Boone County. 

"To get proper health care, we need to start over again," Gini said. "I'd like to see Boone Hospital run as an entity of its own rather than being run by a big outfit out of St. Louis."

Weaver, when contacted to talk about her five-year goals, was unavailable to comment at the time.