Southwest Health System announces board member

The board of directors of Southwest Health System, Inc. recently welcomed Clyde Benally to the board. Benally brings a wealth of experience to the organization and has a deep commitment to the community. He grew up in southeast Utah and has resided in Cortez since 1979.

"My goal in being on the board is to help ensure that the quality of the service is maintained while keeping the hospital financially viable for the future," said Benally in a written statement. "We must keep in mind what the hospital is here for which is to make people well."

Now retired, Benally worked in education and in the oil and gas industry for many years. A Vietnam veteran, he has served as a leader in the Elk's organization and also assisted with the local post of the American Legion. Benally was one of the founding members of the Cortez Cultural Center, served for ten years on the Colorado Commission of Indian Affairs, has been a member of the parent advisory group for Native American students for the Montezuma-Cortez School District, and currently serves as an advisor for students attending Fort Lewis College. He is frequently invited to give presentations to student and teacher groups on Navajo language and culture. Benally published a Navajo history textbook in the early 1980s that is still in use today at the junior high school level. He also works as a seasonal park ranger at Mesa Verde National Park. Benally's wife, Rose, teaches at Mesa Elementary School. Their grown children live in Durango.

Southwest Health System's volunteer board holds meetings monthly that are open to the public. More information is available at www.swhealth.org.