President's Perspective – Convention Highlights from Our Annual Meeting and Awards Presentation
(Oct. 23, 2020) – This year has brought about many "firsts," including our first ever KHA Virtual Convention and Trade Show. While we would always prefer to meet in person, I do want to express my appreciation to the membership for their support of our virtual convention. In addition, I want to sincerely thank the members of the Kansas Hospital Association Convention Planning Committee for their guidance and hard work in making the event a success.
Our keynote presentation with Paul Long brought FUN to our virtual program. Besides his infectious energy and humor, Paul's message of creating a culture of fun is appreciative, especially in our current environment which is sometimes dominated by stress and anxiety.
During our virtual opening ceremonies, I had the opportunity to recognize our 2020 KHA Board Chair Melissa Atkins, administrator and CEO, Graham County Hospital, Hill City. Melissa's leadership and dedication as the KHA Board chair during this challenging year has been greatly appreciated. Melissa led our annual business meeting where the membership approved the slate of officers that will begin serving in their official capacity in 2021. Congratulations to our 2021 officers: Larry Van Der Wege, Lindsborg Community Hospital, Lindsborg – board chair; Dr. Sherri Vaughn, LMH Health, Lawrence – chair-elect; Randy Cason, Ascension Via Christi Hospital Pittsburg, Inc., Pittsburg – treasurer; and Melissa Atkins – past chair. The membership also approved the following individuals to serve on the KHA Board of Directors: Jeremy Clingenpeel, Coffey County Hospital, Burlington; Curt Colson, Great Plains Health Alliance, Hoisington; Dr. Lynn Fisher, KU School of Medicine - Wichita; Lorin Haas, Pratt Regional Medical Center, Pratt; Dr. Robert S. Kenagy, Stormont Vail Health, Topeka; and Don King, Ascension Via Christi, Wichita.
For the past several months, we have been recognizing individuals in Current Report who were nominated for the Health Care Worker of the Year. All of these candidates demonstrated excellence in health care and routinely went above and beyond the call of duty. To be nominated from all the employees at each hospital is an honor. So as you can imagine, it was hard for our committee of past Billings and Visionary award recipients to select our four 2020 awardees. I would like to congratulate the recipients of the Health Care Workers of the Year Award announced on Wednesday:
- Lynda Cross, Director of Nursing, Nemaha Valley Community Hospital, Seneca;
- Paula Miller, Clinical Quality Assurance Manager, The University of Kansas Health System, Kansas City;
- Toby Paige, Environmental Services Supervisor, Coffey Health System, Burlington; and
- Janelle Williamson, Nurse Practitioner, LMH Health, Lawrence.
We also took the opportunity to commend all Kansas hospital trustees for their dedication to Kansas hospitals and the health care of Kansans. The 2020 Trustee of the Year is Barbara Cusick, who serves as a board member at AdventHealth Shawnee Mission. KHA will be making a donation to AdventHealth Foundation Shawnee Mission in her honor.
In place of our annual Billings and Visionary awards, this year KHA decided to recognize the entire KHA membership. During this pandemic, hospital teams have united together and have truly shown their commitment, leadership and dedication. KHA shared a video featuring a few of the images we were able to capture from our members throughout this year. On behalf of the KHA staff and the KHA Board of Directors, we congratulate all of you for your commitment to the health of Kansans.
Before I conclude, I want to give special thanks to our diamond sponsors: APS, KAMMCO and the Kansas Health Service Corporation; and our gold sponsors: BKD, PYA, and Wendling Noe Nelson and Johnson, LLC. We appreciate their ongoing support of KHA and our activities.