WCCHD Board of Directors

The West Custer County Hospital District Board of Directors oversees Custer County Medical Center and Custer County Emergency Medical Services, our funding and our communities’ health concerns. These services comprise key roles for the Hospital District, which is a special tax district formed by the voters of Custer County to serve our county, our region and our visitors. We provide a long list of services, host visiting providers and promote community wellness.

The district dates to Jan. 1, 1988, following its approval by the county’s voters. At the time, it acquired the assets and duties of the nonprofit Custer County Medical Association, which itself formed in 1970, with the goal of establishing a medical office to support a physician. Initially, the district’s rural clinic was in a building at the corner of Rosita and 5th streets in Westcliffe. By May 2000, the Hospital District had completed our Medical Center at 704 Edwards Avenue.

The district has taxing authority, collecting a total of 7.908 mils in property taxes, with 3 mils restricted to supporting Emergency Medical Services. Other revenues come from fees and reimbursements.

The board meets from 3 to 5 p.m. the last Thursday of each month in the conference room of our Medical Center. You can find minutes and agendas linked below on this page, along with other public documents, information about our board members and their contact information. Board members serve staggered four-year terms.

Meet the Board

Robert Tobin, Chairman

Bob Tobin serves as chairman of the West Custer County Hospital District board of directors and has been involved in the community since moving to Custer County in late 2006.

Bob’s work background includes 37 years with Merrill Lynch financial services. He and his wife, Renee, have four grown children living around the country, from Alaska to Massachusetts. Bob and Renee volunteer with the Garden Club, the West Custer County Library, Altitude Community Fitness, Custer County Schools and High Country Recycling.

Tom Shepard, EMS Liaison

Tom Shepard has had a long career in emergency/acute care and occupational medicine as physician assistant – among the first in Colorado.

His roles have ranged from working in special-, acute- and occupational-care clinics to serving as a medical adviser for a fire/rescue squad and ambulance service, and as a medical director for hard-rock mining and milling operations on the Continental Divide. He was clinical director of the Colorado state workers’ compensation fund, Pinnacol Assurance, and worked with the Colorado Division of Workers’ Compensation on evidence-based treatment guidelines for workplace injuries and occupational diseases. He worked with family physicians and two Denver-area hospitals to develop acute care and walk-in services in Evergreen, resulting in a 24/7 joint venture.
Tom and his wife, Dee, moved to rural Westcliffe in 2003. They enjoy life in the Wet Mountain Valley, as well as family in Virginia, North Carolina and Colorado. Both volunteer with the Colorado Reserve Medical Corps and Custer County Public Health. He was appointed to WCCHD Board in 2019.

Barry Keene

Barry Keene, Treasurer

A mechanical engineer by trade & training, Barry Keene works in product development. Principle clients are in the scientific instrument and industrial control arena.

 KEENE R&D, a Colorado Company for 25 years, is often contracted after the simple solutions have been exhausted.

Barry began an active civic career in the mid 1980s. From 2005 forward, he has engaged in health care reform, following all of the activities of the Colorado SB06_208 Blue Ribbon Commission.  More recently Barry co-authored with the Colorado Medical Society, Ingenix software, HB10_1332 the “Medical Clean Claims Uniformity and Transparency Act.”

The success of House Bill 1332 was characterized by across the aisle and across the gulfs of stakeholder interest negotiations.  This resulted in no opposition from the insurance community in a bill that required cooperation in their engaging in fundamentally changing entrenched business practice.  The bill enjoyed very broad bi-partisan support.

Mr. Keene believes that to move healthcare or any other basic reform forward one must honestly understand the opposition’s fears and engage them.  Co-Chair of the HB_1332 Task Force, he notes that down the road we realized that passing the bill was the easy part; actually, making the change requires pain on all fronts.  In the end we find that simple solutions turn out to be rhetoric and sound bites. Real solutions are complicated and require a lot of work and give and take.  Now 5 years into the Clean Claims process we are approaching a final product that is very satisfying if hard won.

Home owner since 2006, year-round Custer County resident since 2017

  • Began to attend West Custer County Hospital District (WCCHD) Board meetings fall 2018.  Continued attending nearly all Board meetings through the present (09/30/20)
  • On behalf of WCCHD, applied to Upper Arkansas Area Economic Development Corporation to become an Enterprise Zone (EZ).  Continue to serve as the EZ Contact person.
  • Participated in the WCCHD EMS sub-committee dealing with service issues for East Custer County, including development of a mail-in survey on resident’s preferences.
Thomas Neches

Thomas Neches, Member at large

 Thomas Neches, managing partner of Thomas Neches & Company LLP, provides accounting, financial, business valuation and statistical analyses to assist trial attorneys.

 Mr. Neches has testified as an expert in state and federal courts in Arizona, California, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Nevada, New York and Oregon. He is a Certified Public Accountant, Accredited in Business Valuation, a Certified Valuation Analyst, a Certified Fraud Examiner and is Certified in Financial Forensics. Mr. Neches received his BA in Mathematics and Literature from UC San Diego and his MS in Operations Research from UCLA. 

Mr. Neches has testified to juries on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust, breach of contract, fraud, intellectual property, lender liability, personal injury and wrongful termination cases. Examples of the litigation issues he has addressed include lost profits, lost business value, determining a reasonable royalty and piercing the corporate veil. Representative industries include banking, entertainment, insurance, manufacturing, retail, securities and wholesale. Mr. Neches specializes in applying computer database and statistical techniques to assemble and analyze voluminous and complex data. 

Mr. Neches has more than forty years of professional experience. Prior to forming Thomas Neches & Company in 2000, he was Senior Partner of Simpson & Company, a firm of certified public accountants specializing in litigation services. Previously, he was a partner at Coopers & Lybrand (now PricewaterhouseCoopers) in its litigation services practice in Los Angeles. Prior to joining Coopers & Lybrand he was a manager in the management consulting group of Arthur Young & Company (now Ernst & Young), where he specialized in operations improvement, systems analysis and litigation consulting. Before that he was head of the technical staff at The Assessment Group, a consulting firm which conducted economic and cost analysis for the U.S. Navy. Mr. Neches has acted as a Judicial Arbitrator of the Superior Court of the State of California for Los Angeles County. 

 During 2003-2013, Mr. Neches was an Adjunct Professor at Loyola Law School. He has been an instructor in numerous regional and local courses on litigation services. Among other publications he has authored, Mr. Neches is the co-author of “Use of Expert Witnesses” in Prosecuting and Defending Insurance Claims (John Wiley & Sons, 1989). 

Mr. Neches is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts, the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, the American Statistical Association and the American Bar Association. 

Alma Golden

Alma Golden, Incoming Secretary

Dr. Alma Golden is a pediatrician who retired full-time to her home in the Wet Mountain Valley in 2021, where her family has had roots and property for over 25 years.

Her most recent assignment was in Washington, DC leading the Bureau for Global Health in the United States Agency for International Development as the White House Appointed, Senate-confirmed Assistant Administrator.  Previously (2002-2006) she served under President George W. Bush in Health and Human Services leading the Office of Population Affairs.  Her career has included private pediatrics, indigent health services, academic medicine (University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, and Texas A&M University), healthcare administration, adolescent health, and national and international public health policy.  She began her professional career as a 7th grade Life Science teacher before entering medicine.  Alma is delighted to be the grandmother of 13 wonderful children and young adults.


Upcoming Board Meeting Agenda

Board Minutes

— 2022 —

— 2021 —



— 2020 —



— 2019 —



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