Hail to the new chiefs

Two important Western Colorado organizations have new leaders. By all indications, well-qualified and thoughtful people have stepped into those roles.

At St. Mary’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Michael McBride is well into a busy first year as the new president and chief executive officer. Meanwhile, Bonnie Petersen has just started as the new executive director of Club 20.

Both McBride and Petersen bring impressive credentials to their new jobs.

McBride has worked in the health care industry for 20 years in series of executive positions overseeing medical centers in Texas and Arkansas, including three hospitals in San Antonio.

Petersen draws on the experiences from a varied career that’s included positions as a public policy director for Qwest, a financial advisor, a residential contractor and certified energy rater. Just as important, Petersen has developed crucial connections in serving in leadership roles with such organizations as the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce, Grand Junction Economic Partnership and Home and Building Association of Northwestern Colorado. Petersen

is no stranger to Club 20, either, having joined the group in 1988 and served for six years on its board of directors.

McBride and Petersen share another attribute in their collaborative approach.

McBride says he’s looking forward to the collaboration among the non-profit hospitals, health care organizations and a health benefits provider that serve Western Colorado. He believes collaboration is crucial to efforts to provide high quality care while keeping costs down.

Collaboration is practically written into Petersen’s job description. She considers a big part of her new job encouraging collaboration among diverse interests in the region to work on common goals.

St. Mary’s Hospital is not only one of the largest private employers in Mesa County, but exerts a regional economic influence as a crucial component of the health care hub in Grand Junction.

For nearly 60 years, Club 20 has provided a voice to Western Colorado interests at capitols in Denver and Washington, D.C. and influenced state and federal policies that affect businesses and individuals on the West Slope.

Here’s welcoming McBride and Petersen to their new roles and wishing them much success in their endeavors. To a large extent, the future of the region will depend on those endeavors.