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Hospital helps prime the pump of business

JACKSON, Wyo. — In Jackson Hole, even the hospital considers itself a tourist business. The more tourists, the more hospital patients, reasons chief executive Ron Ommen of St. John’s Medical Center.

The reasoning came to light after the Jackson Hole News & Guide began questioning why the hospital was spending $30,000 to help subsidize airline seats into Jackson Hole. At first, it was justified as an employee benefit, one needed to recruit and retain hospital staff members, local doctors, and others of the medical profession. For the donation, they also get a 30 per cent discount on ski lift tickets at one of the local ski areas, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

Sexism overcome on way to ski hall of fame

SQUAW VALEY, Calif. — Jerry Nunn had to surmount sexism in both the ski industry and the U.S. Forest Service to get where she is today, a recent inductee into the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame.

Born and raised in Berkeley, Calif., she began skiing in the Sierra Nevada at age 14, and by age 18 she was assisting an emergency physician in the ski patrol room. It made sense that she would join the ski patrol, but she ran into problems in 1954 upon applying in Squaw Valley.

"It was very difficult for me to get on the ski patrol because the man who was in charge of the patrol at Squaw Valley felt that a woman should be barefoot, pregnant, and locked in the kitchen," Nunn told the Sierra Sun.

Nunn got her job after demonstrating that she could control a toboggan solo. Soon after, she breached another threshold when, using her name "Jerry," she applied to become a snow ranger for the U.S. Forest Service.

An official in Utah, however, was going to have nothing of it when he encountered a woman behind the name. "Never, ever in the history of the Forest Service have we accepted a woman, and we won’t now." She said she’d get an attorney, and did – and got into the course, becoming the first woman Forest Service snow ranger. In that capacity she helped develop the first Avalauncher. After several design problems were ironed out, the gas powered gun successfully launches canisters of explosives to set off avalanches in hard-to-reach terrain.

Asked about her induction into the Hall of Fame, Nunn said it was "very exciting. I never thought it would happen to me. I’m a girl, and boys don’t like girls who step on what they think of as their rights."

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