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Davis Walton takes a seat and welcomes back Soper to Delta Health’s Board of Directors

May 17, 2023News

Delta, CO (May 17, 2023) – The Delta Health Board of Directors welcomed and swore in its newest member, Davis Walton, during Monday night’s meeting. Matt Soper will also be serving his second term on the board. 

Walton brings vast experience as a former Administrator at Singing River Hospital in Mississippi as well as a former Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer for Humana Inc. 

“Since moving to Paonia ten years ago, my family and I have always been impressed with the quality of healthcare provided by Delta Health,” said Walton. “The hospital, clinics and medical staff are so important to our communities. I am very pleased to be a part of this vital organization. Having spent my career working in healthcare, I feel well prepared to assist Delta Health in achieving its mission.”

During the opening part of the meeting, the past chair, Jean Ceriani, was honored for her time and service on the board. “I just want to say thank you to all of you,” she said. “It has been some of the best and hardest times of my life here. Truly, thank you, everybody.” 

Julie Huffman, Interim CEO, and Chief Legal Officer, made remarks on Ceriani’s parting. “Your fiery spirit, your integrity, your common sense, and most importantly your passion for quality healthcare in Delta with forever be remembered and deeply missed,” said Huffman. “Thank you for the 7 years of blood, sweat, and tears on behalf of this wonderful, little, rural hospital. We love you.” 

 The Board also voted for Dr. Doug Speedie as the new Board Chair. Speedie hopes to accomplish many things while in this position such as turning the hospital into a sound financial place while simultaneously focusing on the quality of overall care. He wants to make sure Delta Health remains for those that work here and for the people in the community whose health needs they serve. 

“I am honored to serve on the Board of Delta Health,” said Speedie. “[As the board] we want to make sure that Delta Health continues to be available for all those who work here and contribute to the community.  We need to focus on making the healthcare in Delta County the best that can be achieved. ”  

Tammy Smith was also appointed as Vice Chairman, and Dr. Bruce Mixter will continue as the Board Secretary and Treasurer. 

During a special board meeting on March 16,  Delta Health  Board of Directors initially appointed Huffman as Interim CEO. The board said this will allow time for Huffman to provide a stable foundation for Delta Health, as well as give the board time to evaluate and recruit a permanent CEO. During the May 15th regular board meeting, the board, Huffman, and in collaboration with Interim Chief Financial Officer, Kelly Johnston, agreed to continue in the interim for one year. 

“We’ve been very impressed in our Interim CEO Julie Huffman’s performance over the last 60 days that we’ve decided to extend the contract from one year from tonight,” said Soper. “[We want to] continue the good work of everything she’s been able to accomplish over the last 60 days and for her to help keep our hospital on the right track.” 

To learn more about the Delta Health Board of Directors, visit

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