James Gilbert, superintendent of the Mountain Home School District, currently serves as chairman of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. James grew up in Great Falls, Montana, in a house of educators—his parents were both teachers in the community. He attended Montana State University in Bozeman, where he ran cross country and track and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. He earned his master’s degree in educational leadership and an education specialist degree in educational leadership from the University of Idaho.
James has been with the Mountain Home School District since 1996, holding numerous positions within the district including teacher, coach, activities director and assistant principal before becoming superintendent. “I’m married to an amazing lady and have two daughters,” James says. “In my free time I enjoy hunting, fishing and camping. I feel very fortunate to live in this amazing community and state.”
Connie Cruser, a registered nurse of more than 50 years, is a member of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. Connie has served as a hospital staff nurse, office nurse, public health nurse, and high school instructor for health occupations and CNA classes. She served in the U.S. Army Reserve Nurse Corps, on the Elmore Medical Center (EMC) Planning and Building committee and Center for Community Health Advisory Board, and as president of the EMC Foundation.
Connie has been an Elmore County commissioner for six years and currently serves as the Elmore County representative on the Southwest Area Agency on Aging Advisory Board. She is the City of Mountain Home liaison for the Mountain Home Senior Center and secretary of the Elmore County Citizens on Patrol volunteer organization.
Bianca Melissa Garcia, youth services coordinator for the Mountain Home Public Library, is a member of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. Bianca was raised in Mountain Home, graduated from Mountain Home High School in 2008, and was featured in the first recycling video for the City of Mountain Home. In 2003, she became the administrative director and helped her father create the family business, Triple “B” Lawn Care & Handyman Services.
Bianca has served in her position as youth services coordinator for the past nine years. “I like being creative at work and love innovation in all areas of fashion designing, music, dancing, holidays and spending time with my family,” she says. “I’m the mother of two beautiful children, Adán and Mañolo Garcia, and my husband is a third-generation contracted wildland firefighter and engine boss.”
Elsa Guillen, senior workforce consultant with the Idaho Department of Labor, is a member of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. Elsa grew up in Mountain Home and graduated from Mountain Home High School. She started her career with the State of Idaho in 1990, working at Central District Health as an office specialist for eight years before transferring to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to be a self-reliance specialist. She joined the Department of Labor in 2004, where she assists employers and job seekers.
Elsa has been an on-call volunteer firefighter for the City of Mountain Home since 2005 and is the department’s only female firefighter. She has been very active in the community, serving as vice president of the Elmore County Hispanic Organization in Mountain Home for many years, helping with fire safety trainings at local schools and assisting in organizing community events for the Hispanic community.
She and her husband have been married for 27 years and have four children (three currently attending Boise State University), and one grandson.
Jeff Jausoro, a longtime Mountain Home pharmacist, is a member of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. Jeff grew up in Mountain Home and attended local schools. He worked at Hiddleston Drilling for one year before deciding he needed to go to college. He started at the College of Southern Idaho, then transferred to Idaho State University to increase his odds of getting into pharmacy school. He applied and got in his first year, graduating from ISU in 1995 with a PharmD degree.
Jeff’s last internship was at the Mountain Home Albertsons, where he was offered a job when he graduated and worked for 23 years. He had the opportunity to take over SavMor Drug when the owner retired in 2016. “I spend as much of my free time as I can in the beautiful Idaho outdoors with my wife and girls,” Jeff says. “I truly enjoy skiing with my daughters and am an avid dirt bike rider. My daughters have been skiing and racing dirt bikes with me since they were two years old.”
Lloyd Knight, a longtime veterinarian and community leader, is a member of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. Lloyd was born in Ontario, Oregon and attended school in New Plymouth and Richland, Oregon. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon then went on to graduate from the Washington State University in veterinary medicine.
He was a practicing veterinarian in Mountain Home and the surrounding area for many years and served in a variety of roles with state and national veterinary medical associations, including nearly 12 years with a group health and life insurance trust.
Lloyd served on the Elmore Medical Center Board of Trustees from 1982-2006. He contracted with the Board of Trustees as the community process director from 2007-2013 and served as liaison between the Board and the community, focusing primarily on integration-associated efforts. Lloyd and his wife, Orla, live in Hammett. “We enjoy visiting our two sons and daughter and their families,” Lloyd says, “especially at get-togethers at Redfish Lake or near Trail Creek.”
Jeff Lord, retired CPA and longtime rancher, is a member of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. Jeff was born at St. Luke’s in Boise and grew up in the Mayfield area on the same Idaho cattle ranch where he and his wife—who has worked on the ranch full time since they were married—have raised their son and daughter. All of the family, including Jeff’s parents, are actively involved in the operation of the ranch.
Jeff has served on cattle industry and youth sports boards of directors and is presently chair of the local Sage Grouse working group. His early education included one year in a one-room schoolhouse in Mayfield and continued in Mountain Home and at the University of Idaho, where he received his bachelor’s degree in accounting.
Jeff worked as a CPA in Boise for 29 years, in an office within a short walking distance of his birthplace, serving a diverse mix of clients before returning to the ranch full time.
Mildred McNeal, community leader and retired U.S. Air Force civilian employee, is a member of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. She currently serves as secretary for the Mountain Home Arts Council Board of Directors and is a member of the St. Luke’s Elmore Foundation Board.
Mildred was employed as a transportation assistant and quality assurance evaluator with the Passenger Service Element, Traffic Management Flight, 366th Logistics Readiness Squadron, 366th Mission Support Group, 366th Fighter Wing, Department of the Air Force at Mountain Home Air Force Base. She faithfully served her country for 30 years and has been an Idaho resident for more than 38 years.
Mildred is a member of the First Congregational Church, where she served on the deaconate board for six years and a one-year term as the deaconate chairperson. She is actively involved in the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority and Mountain Home Community Black History Committee and was the first black woman to serve as president of the Idaho Federation of Business and Professional Women.
She was recognized as the Air Combat Command Transportation Professional of the Year in 1991, 2000 and 2001 and was awarded the 366th Wing Transportation Civilian of the Year Award in 1996, 1997 and 2002. In 1993, the State of Idaho Military Division recognized her for contributions during Operation Desert Storm. That same year, the Mountain Home Black History Committee chose Mildred as Person of the Year.
Mildred enjoys reading, gardening, the piano, the arts and golfing. She is married to the Honorable Joe B. McNeal, FMR, former mayor of Mountain Home, and has five children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandson.
Connie S. Powers, licensed medical social worker, is a member of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. Connie grew up in Owyhee County and graduated from Marsing High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Northwest Nazarene College in 1970 and worked as a licensed social worker from 1980-2014.
As a staff member of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare for 20 years, Connie handled rural social work including child protection risk assessment, case management, foster care, adoptions, licensing and training foster parents. She also worked with children's mental health doing clinical work and crisis intervention. While working full time, she returned to school and earned her master’s degree in social work from Northwest Nazarene University in 2004.
Connie served as the family advocacy outreach manager at Mountain Home Air Force Base from 2006-2014, training Airbase leadership in how to recognize risks of family violence and provide resources to prevent family maltreatment. She also taught parenting and relationship classes.
She has been an active volunteer with the Elmore County Domestic Violence Council for more than 10 years, is a volunteer counselor for the SHARE (crisis counsellor) group in Mountain Home and served as a founding member of St. Luke’s Elmore Center for Community Health Advisory.
Connie is married to Alvin Powers; together, they raised two children, Amber and Audrey. She and her husband spent many years actively supporting Mountain Home High School sports and have been involved in various other community activities. Connie retired in 2014 to enjoy time with her husband and grandchildren.
Paul Shrum, a longtime educator, is a member of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. Paul spent more than 30 years teaching in Glenns Ferry and Mountain Home schools before retiring in 2009. He has been president of the Elmore County Farm Bureau for 10 years and treasurer of Desert Sage Health Clinic, NACHA for 14 years.
Paul and his wife, Deb Towne, have three children, Jacob (Kat) Shrum, Josh (Lacey) Shrum and Jennifer Shrum, and three grandchildren, Amelia, Sloane and Teddy.
Dr. Richard Starkey, a longtime family medicine physician in Mountain Home, is a member of St. Luke’s Elmore Community Board. He graduated with honors from the University of Washington School of Medicine in 1974. With more than 42 years of diverse experience, especially in family medicine and general practice, Dr. Starkey is affiliated with many hospitals, including St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center. Although not currently actively practicing, he continues to maintain his medical license.
Dr. Starkey was born and raised locally, graduating from Glenns Ferry High School. While in active practice, some of his patients were his teachers from high school. Dr. Starkey’s interests include golf and photography.
Becky Nelson, senior vice president and human resources director for First Federal Savings Bank, is a member of St. Luke’s Magic Valley/Jerome Community Board.
Becky holds senior certified professional (SCP) and senior professional in human resources (SPHR) certifications. In addition, she serves on the Idaho State Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Council as treasurer.
Becky joined St. Luke’s Magic Valley Health Foundation Board in 2003. She then became a member of St. Luke’s East Region Board before transitioning to the Community Board. She has been a member of St. Luke’s East Region Finance Committee for several years.
She considers it an honor and a privilege to serve on St. Luke’s boards and committees. “Working in HR, I have a passion to help people,” she says. “So the work we do on the Community Board is very near and dear to me.
In her free time, Becky loves spending time with her three children and four grandchildren. She also enjoys reading, golfing, and cooking.
Tom Ashenbrener is owner of the wine, beer, and cooking supply store Rudy's: A Cook's Paradise, and a member of St. Luke's Health System Community Board for Magic Valley and Jerome.
After college, Tom worked with his father at Price Hardware, eventually taking the store over in 2002 and renaming it Rudy's to concentrate on his passion for cooking. He is the recipient of the Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce Curtis T. Eaton Award for small business person of the year.
Tom also currently serves as board chair for First Federal Foundation. He has served as chairman of the board for First Federal Savings Bank, St. Luke's Magic Valley, the College of Southern Idaho Foundation, and was president of the Rotary Club.
Melody Bowyer is executive director of the South Central Public Health District and a member of the Community Board for St. Luke's Magic Valley and Jerome.
Melody has collaborated to improve Idaho public health and emergency preparedness with many federal, state, and local governmental agencies, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. Her innovative practices in environmental health earned her the prestigious Model Practice Award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials in 2013.
Melody earned bachelor's degrees in both chemical engineering and materials science and engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned an MBA from the University of Houston. She is also a registered environmental health specialist and a certified public manager.
Melody has lived in the Magic Valley since 2000. She enjoys Idaho's many outdoor activities with her children, including hiking, skiing, rafting, and paddle boarding.
Eva Craner is the director of public relations for the Twin Falls School District, and has been with the district for five years. She also serves on many community organizations including the Blue Lakes Rotary Club, Twin Falls Optimist Club, Twin Falls Education Foundation, and Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.
She served as Blue Lakes Rotary President from 2018 to 2019 and Twin Falls Optimist Club 2nd Vice President from 2017 to 2018 and 2018 to 2019.
Eva earned bachelor’s degrees in political science and journalism from Boston University and a master’s degree in science strategic communications from Purdue University.
She is an avid outdoors lover and when she isn’t promoting public education, she can be found on a paddle board, hunting, or riding her bike with Trent, her husband, Cache her son, and their two dachshunds. (And yes, the dogs go on the paddle boards and wear lifejackets.)
Julie Ellis, PT, SCS, CSCS is owner of the Center for Physical Rehabilitation clinic and a member of St. Luke's Community Board for Magic Valley and Jerome.
Active with the Chamber of Commerce for 30 years, Julie is a former president of the Idaho Physical Therapy Association, and is the current Idaho legislative contact for the American Physical Therapy Association. In that role, she makes annual trips to Capitol Hill to advocate for health care.
Julie is also an instructor in the College of Southern Idaho's physical therapy assistant program. She teaches yoga and Pilates, and is a certified health coach.
Julie is passionate about impacting her community by educating corporations and educational institutions to empower their employees and members to change behaviors to create healthier lifestyles. She is married with two adult children, and enjoys running, hiking, yoga, and socializing in her community.
Jill Howell is associate chief nursing officer and site leader at St. Luke's Jerome Medical Center. She has been a registered nurse at St. Luke’s Jerome/St. Benedicts Family Medical Center for more than 40 years.
She was a bedside nurse in the hospital for 10 years, followed by 20 years as director of the Long-Term Care Unit, where she became a licensed nursing home administrator. For the past 10 years, she has returned to the acute care hospital setting in a nursing leadership role.
“I was born at the Jerome hospital, as were my three children,” Jill says. “I have a strong desire to maintain a hospital presence in our community that offers safe, quality care.”
Jill earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Boise State University and has been a licensed registered nurse by the State of Idaho since 1979. She has been a licensed nursing home administrator by the State of Idaho since 1999.
She was appointed by the governor to serve on the Idaho State Board of Nursing for three terms, serving from 2003 to 2015. She was recognized by the Idaho Business Review as a Healthcare Hero Nurse in 2008 and received the Jerome Chamber's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.
Dr. Tracey Jones is a peripheral vascular surgeon with St. Luke’s Clinic – Vascular Surgery in Twin Falls and serves as chief of staff at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center. He is board certified in general surgery and vascular surgery.
Dr. Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Military Institute, where he was valedictorian and a distinguished graduate. He earned his medical degree from Tulane University School of Medicine, where he was a member of the University’s Alpha Omega Alpha Chapter. He completed his surgical residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center and his vascular surgery fellowship through the Greenville Hospital System in South Carolina.
Dr. Jones is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel. He served for 26 years, including nine years as a pilot in Air Force special operations, and has more than 6,000 flying hours. He was an Air Force vascular surgeon for 17 years, serving as chief of vascular surgery for the Combined San Antonio Military Medical Center, starting a vascular program at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, and serving as the sole vascular surgeon for the Las Vegas Veterans Hospital.
He retired from the USAF in 2014 and was in private practice in Las Vegas before moving to Twin Falls in 2015.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, a member of the Society of Vascular Surgery, Clinical Vascular and Endovascular Surgery Society, and the Rocky Mountain Vascular Surgery Society.
He is also past president of the Texas Vascular Surgery Society and has held academic appointments at the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, and the United Services Health Science University.
Janet Olmstead, an educator for 30 years, is a member of St. Luke’s Magic Valley/Jerome Community Board.
Janet retired from the Twin Falls School District as director of support services. Over her long career, she dedicated herself to children as a teacher of Spanish, English, English as a second language (ESL), and special education. She is a member and past president of the Council for Exceptional Children.
Janet earned her bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of Colorado and her master’s degree in special education from Idaho State University.
“I have always had an interest in the medical field, as my mother worked for three psychiatrists and a general surgeon,” Janet says. “I believe in the saying that volunteering is the rent one pays for the privilege of living in a community.”
Janet has two married sons and four grandchildren. She enjoys tennis, golf, skiing, travel, and flying with her husband, Dan.
Julia Oxarango-Ingram, director of Southern Idaho Rural Development, is a member of St. Luke’s Magic Valley/Jerome Community Board.
Through her economic development work, Julia serves 18 rural communities and four counties in South Central Idaho. She is passionate about historic preservation, bringing the “heartbeat” back to rural downtowns, and highlighting rural tourism in her region. She studied business administration at Boise State University and has earned professional community economic development (PCED) certification and community, family and victim/offender mediation certification.
Julia joined the St. Luke’s board because she wanted to communicate needs, challenges, and opportunities surrounding community health in the communities she serves. She says she has learned much about opportunities for communities to better collaborate with St. Luke’s to advance health.
Julia is the mother of two grown children who live in Boise and Anchorage. She actively participates in her Basque heritage through dance and festival coordination.
Edna Pierson is a member of St. Luke’s Magic Valley/Jerome Community Board and a member and past president of St. Luke’s Magic Valley Health Foundation Board.
Edna joined St. Benedicts Hospital Foundation in Jerome in 1976 and served as board president four times. She served as state president of the Idaho Hospital Association Auxiliary Board, serving on the board for three years in the 1980s. She has supported the Alzheimer’s Association by hosting an all-day fundraiser annually called “The Longest Day.”
“I became a board member at St. Luke’s to support the hospital to ensure community access to the best health care possible,” Edna says.
In her free time, Edna operates two bridge clubs and attends as many tournaments as possible. She also enjoys playing golf, and has played at the Jerome Country Club since 1974. She also likes picture puzzles, saying “my husband and I have a puzzle going most of the time.”
Travis Rothweiler was appointed city manager for the City of Twin Falls in 2011. In his position, he serves as the city’s chief executive officer and is responsible for providing the overall leadership element. He oversees and executes the day-to-day and strategic operations and works collaboratively with the city council and departments on activities designed to advance, promote and secure the community. Statutorily, the city manager, with significant contributions and input from department leaders, is responsible to develop and construct a balanced and sustainable budget for the city council's consideration.
Prior to joining the City of Twin Falls, Travis served as city administrator for the City of Jerome. He also worked for former U.S. Senator Conrad Burns (Montana) and as the assistant to the majority leader for the Montana House of Representatives for five legislative sessions.
Travis earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1996 and master’s degree in public administration in 1998, both from Montana State University in Bozeman. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia’s Senior Executive Institute (2007) and Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) program (2002).
Travis is the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Twin Falls Rotary Club, International City/County Management Association for Program Excellence and Innovation, and was named one of Idaho’s CEOs of Influence for 2016 by the Idaho Business Review. He remains the only public sector CEO in Idaho to have received this award. He is recognized as a credentialed manager by the International City Manager Association.
Travis is passionate about endurance sports, especially triathlons. He has competed in all distances, from Sprints to the Ironman. He has set the ambitious goal of qualifying for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships as well as the Ironman World Championships held in Kona each year before he turns 50.
He and his wife, Amy, a Twin Falls native and also a triathlon enthusiast, have been married for 13 years and have two children, David and Jackson.
John Shine, community leader and former mayor of the City of Jerome, is a member of St. Luke’s Magic Valley/Jerome Community Board.
John worked for IBM in a variety of roles, is the former owner of CompuNet, and is the former chair of the Jerome Urban Renewal Agency. He is committee chair of Boy Scout Troop/Pack/Crew 139, Snake River Council: Management, Training, and Leadership, and active in the operation of the Jerome Food Pantry.
John has lived a lifetime of service to others in many capacities, and says he plans to continue until he’s no longer able. Public service has become a personal commitment and central focus since retirement has allowed him the time.
Through life experience, he became very interested in the delivery and cost of health care. He testified at public hearings, as a citizen, for the merger of St. Luke’s and the former Magic Valley Regional Medical Center. As mayor of Jerome, he worked with the publicity campaign to ensure a positive community response to the integration of St. Luke’s and the former St. Benedicts Hospital.
John saw an opportunity to be of further use to St. Luke’s, accepting a position on the East Region Planning Committee. Subsequently, he was asked to join the Community Board.
“Board membership is an important element of my public service commitment and therefore my life’s work,” John says. “I believe I add value to St. Luke’s, and membership certainly adds value to my life.”
John is married and has six children and 11 grandchildren. He enjoys RV and foreign travel, working with youth and adult leaders through the Boy Scouts, and working with and mentoring those suffering from addictions.
Dave Snelson, financial advisor, is a member of St. Luke’s Magic Valley/Jerome Community Board and St. Luke’s Magic Valley Health Foundation Board.
Dave has worked in financial services and insurance for more than 20 years and has been a business owner and entrepreneur for over 38 years. He is an accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), certified in long-term care (CLTC), and a member of the local chapter of the Estate Planning Council.
He is a past Chamber board member and chair, is a past member and chair of the Twin Falls Traffic Safety Commission, and is active in economic development in the community.
Dave joined the Community Board after his oldest son experienced a spinal injury at age 34. Dave and his family spent several weeks in Boise, while he son was in the hospital, intensive care, and rehabilitation. “It’s so very important for family support to be there when someone is sick or hurt,” Dave says. “My passion is to have services in our community so no one has to travel to be with family when they need them most.”
Scott Standley, community leader and certified insurance counselor (CIC), is a member of St. Luke’s Magic Valley/Jerome Community Board.
Scott has been an insurance agent focusing on employee benefits for more than 16 years. Before that he was in involved in his family’s construction company, Standley Trenching. He has served on the City of Twin Falls Planning and Zoning Commission, Magic Valley Builders Association Board, YMCA of Twin Falls Board, Blue Lakes Country Club Board, Building Advisory Board, Idaho State Department of Insurance Continuing Education Board, and the Southern Idaho Association of Health Underwriters Board. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Idaho State University.
“St. Luke’s is one of our community’s biggest and best assets, and I wanted to be a part of the future of both St. Luke’s and the Twin Falls community,” Scott says about joining the Community Board. The board has also given him an opportunity to learn how insurance products work from all points of view. He says his customers have many questions about health care and he can now give them better advice.
Scott and his wife, Sandi, have been married for 40 years. They have two children and two grandchildren. He says his hobbies are “golf, tennis, whitewater rafting, and gardening, none of which I’m any good at.”
Dr. Thomas Zepeda is director of the Emergency Department and chief of staff at St. Luke’s Jerome Medical Center. He is board certified in family medicine.
Dr. Zepeda earned his bachelor’s degree in liberal arts from Thomas Aquinas College. He attended the University of Washington where he completed pre-med coursework before earning his medical degree from St. Louis University School of Medicine. He completed his family medicine residency at Madigan Army Medical Center and Martin Army Community Hospital.
Dr. Zepeda was born in Washington state, the fourth of nine children. He and his wife, Teresa, have nine children and five grandchildren. He enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, tandem bicycling, hunting, fishing, mule riding and kayaking.