Club 20 keynote topic will be health care

Rocky Mountain Health Plans chief executive officer Steve ErkenBrack will speak Saturday about the implications for western Colorado of recently signed health care legislation.

ErkenBrack has been tapped to deliver the keynote address at the spring meeting of Club 20 after Gov. Bill Ritter declined the organization’s invitation to speak because of the press of state business.

ErkenBrack heads one of the organizations that underpins the Grand Junction model of health care. The model figures prominently in the legislation, which encourages establishment of community-based health care delivery systems.

The cooperation of Rocky Mountain Health Plans, St. Mary’s Hospital, Community Hospital, several other nonprofit organizations and an independent physicians association was cited in several national publications as a model for other locales.

Ritter was scheduled last spring to deliver the Club 20 keynote address on controversial oil and gas rules. Mechanical problems, however, grounded his plane, and another plane was ruled out as being safe for flight across the Rockies during a snowstorm. It then was too late for him to catch a commercial flight for the luncheon speech.

Ritter did speak to Club 20 at its fall meeting in September.

When he last spoke to the governor’s office, Club 20 Executive Director Reeves Brown said he heard Ritter say in the background, “Tell him I’ll be there in September,” when the organization hosts its fall meeting.

“So, we’ll see whether he makes it then,” Brown said.

Club 20’s spring session begins at 8 a.m. Saturday at Two Rivers Convention Center.


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