11-23 Letters to the Tribune
I wanted to write a great big thank you note to a couple of individuals that served on the Heart of America Medical Center Board of Director for the past 12 years. Jon Nelson and Mark Schaan dedicated a significant portion of their time and energy supporting HAMC. According to the National Rural Healthcare Association, in the last 5 years over 75 small hospitals have had to close their doors and another 375 are at risk of closing. Jon and Mark work tirelessly to assure HAMC did not wind up like those hospitals.
During my tenure as CEO I witnessed both Jon and Mark working incessantly on behalf of HAMC. They not only participated and attended monthly board meetings they served on sub-committees and were frequently communicating with the leadership team and community members regarding concerns and ideas. During their tenure HAMC purchased a physician clinic, added an MRI unit, renovated the long term care facility and added a day care facility. Jon Nelson used his influence as a legislator to assist rural hospitals across the state. Many hospitals struggle with collecting bad debts. Jon crafted legislation that offered financial assistance to not only HAMC but many rural hospitals across the state that faced financial challenges due to non-payment. This legislation resulted in $500,000 to HAMC over several years and allowed the hospital to continue to offer vital services utilized by the community that may have had to be eliminated otherwise. Jon also was instrumental in assisting HAMC in getting grant dollars to establish the day care center that assists employees and serves over 50 children.
You can often judge a person by what they give. Both Jon and Mark were givers; they gave of their time and talent for 12 years and never complained. There was no reward for their sacrifice except the knowledge that they gave their all to serve the best interest of HAMC and the community. All of us that love HAMC owe them a debt of gratitude. They will be missed.
(Former HAMC CEO)
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