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The Board of Trustees of Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County

The Board of Trustees at Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County is appointed by the Sweetwater County Board of Commissioners.

The MHSC board typically meets on the first Wednesday of every month in the hospital classrooms (unless otherwise posted). Board meetings are open to the public. Board agendas, packets and minutes are posted on this website.

For additional information regarding the MSHC Board of Trustees, its bylaws or the agenda, please contact Executive Assistant Cindy Nelson at 307-352-8412 or email at

Members of the Board

Barbara J. Sowada, President

barbara sowada, woman with stylish short silver hair and glassesBarbara J. Sowada, Ph.D., has extensive clinical and managerial experience in health care.

She has a Ph.D. in clinical nutrition from Colorado State University and was a fellow of the Healthcare Forum’s Creating Healthier Communities.

Barbara is the author of the textbook, A Call To Be Whole: The Fundamentals of Health Care Reform.

A Wyoming native, she and her husband have lived in Rock Springs since 2003.

Craig Rood, Vice President

Craig Rood​Craig Rood is a Wyoming native who has lived in Sweetwater County for more than 50 years.

He is the Director of Public Relations and Government Affairs for Project West, a greenfield trona mine and refinery. He has served with the Memorial Hospital Foundation, Wyoming Mining Association, Wyoming Business Alliance, Skill USA, Wyoming Taxpayers Association, Sweetwater County Treatment Court, Green River Chamber of Commerce and Leadership Wyoming

Craig truly believes we all should give back to the community. Because of his job, running for public office proves difficult, so he believes serving on the hospital board a good way to be involved in making Sweetwater County a better place to live. He says the hospital is an incredible asset that is taken for granted – until you need it. He hopes to help ensure its future.

After having been the plant manager for the Big Island Mine and Refinery for eight years, Craig understands how a large business operates. He has had experience with large budgets and large groups of employees. He believes this skill set transfers well to the hospital board, allowing him to help the hospital continue to grow and get better.

Kandi Pendleton, Secretary

Kandi Pendleton​Kandi Pendleton is a Rock Springs native and a graduate of the University of Wyoming. Fresh out of college she spent several years as an elementary teacher for Sweetwater County School District No. 1 before completing changing directions and beginning work with the Sweetwater Events Complex.

In her tenure at the Events Complex, she has served as the Event Coordinator and Marketing & Events Manager. Her current job duties include recruiting, booking & coordinating events, managing employees, budgeting, accounting, and organizing the day-to-day operations.

As a part of the management team at the Events Complex, Kandi works for a governing board. Having that perspective should prove valuable in her position as a new Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County trustee. Kandi has served on the Sweetwater County Travel & Tourism Board, as well as the Rock Springs Board of Adjustments.

Kandi is keenly aware of some of the services the hospital has to offer. Her husband was diagnosed with cancer by the local oncologist in 2017. Since that time, they have bounced between Huntsman Cancer Institute and Sweetwater Regional Cancer Center for his treatment. They have become familiar with the hospital’s lab, the imaging department and Sweetwater Sleep Center.

She believes that Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County is a true asset to our community and something we should all be very proud of.

Wm. Marty Kelsey, Treasurer

Kelsey Marty, older man with grey hair and glassesMarty Kelsey’s professional work and service background is in the public sector. Having served at Western Wyoming Community College for over 36 years in various administrative capacities, the last 27 of which as Administrative Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, he gained a lot of knowledge and skill in finance, human resources, and organizational leadership.

Additionally, he served on and worked closely with several state and local level boards for over 40 years and gained a lot of insights on how boards can best operate.

His educational background includes a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Lifetime Certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources from SHRM.

Marty’s primary interests in Sweetwater Memorial are two-fold: First, to share his knowledge of various financial, human resources, administrative, and board functions with the Board of Trustees and with the MHSC’s senior leadership team. He wants to see the Hospital operate efficiently and effectively and on sound financial footing, all the while helping to ensure that quality patient care is the top priority. Second, he desires to educate himself about healthcare issues which are very complex and about which he is experiencing a steep learning curve!

He has resided in Sweetwater County since May, 1974. “I love Wyoming!”

Nena James, Trustee

Nena James is a Wyoming native and has lived in Sweetwater County for 50 years.

She graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Juris Doctorate degree in 1974. She practiced law in Rock Springs for 27 years before being appointed to the District Court bench for the Third Judicial District in 2001. She then served as a District Court Judge for 18 years until her retirement in 2019.

She is presently on the Board of Directors for the Youth Home and has previously served on the Board of Directors of Southwest Counseling.

During her tenure as a District Court Judge, she held Title 25 hearings in the hospital, which put her in weekly contact with the hospital and its staff. She has extensive experience with the challenges facing the hospital and the community regarding mental health.