Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems Annual Meeting – Monday, April 24, 2023

By Terry Bailey

The Mitchell County Hospital Health Systems conducted their annual meeting at the Beloit Country Club Monday evening, April 24th. A crowd of about fifty people gathered to review reports from various departments to measure the status of the institution. An air of optimism and confidence was apparent as the meeting progressed.
Brent Cunningham, chairperson of the Board of Directors opened the meeting by greeting the attendees and introducing the other members of the Board. These included Vice Chair Chris Mondero; Jim Johnson; Brian Dilner, Treasurer; Jerica King, Secretary; Brigit Gasper, Past Chair; and Christine Marozas.
Cunningham noted there had been many changes over the past year with perhaps the most significant change being the hiring of a new CEO, Janelle Kircher.
Cunningham then turned the meeting over to Kircher. Kircher introduced the first department head to address the audience, Stephanie Simmons, Executive Director of the Mitchell County Community Health Foundation.
Simmons noted that in 2012 the Nothern Jordan Shumate Healthcare Legacy was established. Since its inception 144 scholarships have been awarded and over $80,750 in funds have been distributed to area students pursuing degrees in healthcare. Additionally the foundation has administered over $575,000 in grant funding to connect with health care related projects in our community. Simmons said the scholarships and grant money were directly aimed at investing in the future of the community.
Kircher next introduced Christine Budke, the Executive Director of Solomon Valley Hospice. Budke accepted that position in February of 2022. She reported her organization provided services to 70 families last year. In their 40-mile service area, they provided care to folks in 15 towns and eight different nursing facilities.
Next up was Vickie Mears, President of the MCHHS Auxiliary. Mears emphasized the work of the organization is and always has been the work of volunteers. She said about 60 active members contribute to the ongoing success of the Auxiliary. The Economy Shop continues to the major source of income for them. In 2022, just over $30,000 was raised by the Economy Shop which is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Assisting Gray are Shirley Conley, Vice President, Karen Buser, Sharon Jordan, Leanne Eilert, and Mary Kay Eilert.
Kircher recognized three retirements of note. Jo Albert, Laboratory, is retiring after 42 years. Melissa Burks, Acute Nursing, is leaving after 45 years of service. Finally, Dr. Kris Kimple is hanging it up as 30 years assisting with the health care of folks of Mitchell County.
Other long term employees were noticed including JoEllis Abram, 25 years; Andrea McKanna, 25 years; Sheila Thompson, 25 years; Pam Hollerich, 30 years; Donna Roe, 35 years; Marian Sibley, 40 years; Pat Ludwig, 45 years; and Carol Cordel, 45 years.
Brian Dilner, Treasurer of the Mitchell County Community Hospital Endowment, reported the markets had not been kind to their investments which took a hit of minus 9.46 percent in 2022. Otherwise, their investments were in good shape and were holding strong.
CEO Kircher summed up the evenings activities commenting that she was celebrating her three month anniversary in her position and said she had been swept up in a flurry of activity since accepting the job. She extended thanks to all the great people of the community who had made her and her family feel very welcome.


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