NRMC Appoints New Board of Directors Positions

3/15/2018

The Nevada Regional Medical Center Board of Directors recently appointed two local, well-known and highly respected business professionals to the nine-person Board.  They include Kelly Ast and Kendall Vickers.  Mr. Vickers was born at the Nevada City Hospital and graduated from El Dorado Springs High School.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree (in Agriculture) and Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Missouri at Columbia.  He is also graduated from the University Missouri of Kansas City with a LLM (Masters of Law) in Taxation.  He has been a practicing attorney and resident of the Nevada community since 1975. 

“I had been following, with special interest, the news accounts of NRMC, issues in healthcare today, rural healthcare changes and universal healthcare in general,” said Vickers.  “I believed my experience, knowledge base and critical analysis of issues would help the hospital realize profitability again when I was asked to join the Board and I look forward to helping to accomplish that.  NRMC is a pillar of this community, economically and socially, and needs to shine.

“The fact that we are 60 miles to the next closest hospital means people in and around Nevada depend on this facility for their healthcare needs.  Our patients develop long-term relationships with their doctors and providers here because they are there for patients when called.  I’m looking forward to adding new doctors and new services that will help the hospital grow and flourish.  I certainly don’t have all the answers, and I am humble about what my contributions to this Board might be.  However, I am open to new ideas and motivated to help.  This is definitely the most challenging community service that I have undertaken, and I am excited to be involved.”

Mr. Vickers specializes in estate planning, estate administration, elder law and business planning.  He has presented numerous programs on estate planning, estate administration and long-term care planning for University of Missouri Extension, public television and other groups over the past 40 years.  He has been actively engaged in agriculture all of his life.

Mr. Vickers has been involved in many community activities throughout his life, serving as corporate secretary of Quality Products, Inc.; incorporator, director, Secretary, President and Treasurer of the Osage Prairie Young Men’s Christian Association; member of the Nevada R-5 School Board; and president of the Vernon County Senior Center advisory board.  He represents several not-for-profit organizations in the community.  He is a member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church of Nevada.

The second new NRMC Board member is Kelly Ast, Senior Director of Healthy Nevada, a unique initiative focusing on “total well-being” that starts with young elementary students.  Well-being means kids finish school, obtain a higher education, prosper into a strong workforce and live in a community that’s getting ahead.

“I joined the Board because I’ve been working in population health management for the last five years, am very interested in the vitality of this community and sustainability of NRMC,” says Ast.  “NRMC is our life and blood.  I was asked to collaborate, coordinate and build bridges, which is what I do every day and I’m willing to help as much as I can.  I’m excited that Freeman [Health System] is here to bring the resources required and opportunities for all residents.” 

Ast grew up in Nevada and has spent most of her adult life here.  She is also keenly aware of how rural hospitals are changing and need to be innovative with resources – existing and new – to thrive in a changing world.  After college, she opened a farm-to-table restaurant and has always been involved in the community.  She and her husband own a working farm raising Black Angus cattle, wheat, beans and corn.  Four years ago, she started working with Healthy Nevada, and had the opportunity work with the Farmer’s Market to relocate. Soon after market season, an opportunity arose to work with community members and develop a local gleaning program that encompasses multiple community gardens sites. With the hard work of many local volunteers, this program has fed impoverished residents more than 160,000 lbs. of fresh local produce.

That led to her current role in Healthy Nevada, as a Community Coordinator, where the city of Nevada is the first rural community in southwest Missouri to actively promote population health management.  As of January, all stores and employers in Nevada are tobacco-free; this was, in part, a collaboration of local partners and Healthy Nevada.  Over the last five years, even though there was an economic downturn hitting Nevada, health indices improved.  “That really shows a measure of success and what happens when a community is on board with a mission,” says Ast.

In June of 2017, Vernon County’s first Prescription Drug Monitoring Program officially became active.  With the opioids issue exploding even on national levels, PDMPs improve patient safety and are an essential function in combating prescription drug abuse. This was another example of local collaboration working together to improve the quality of life for Vernon County residents.

In partnership with Cerner Corporation, Healthy Nevada a 501 (c)(3) organization, creates an infrastructure that enables and encourages healthy choices that play a major role in contributing to the improvement of Nevada’s health status rankings by:

ü  Improving the city layout through initiatives like increasing ADA accessible sidewalks and adding bike lanes

ü  Encouraging healthy eating and activity with walk to work/school programs, easily accessible Farmer’s Markets that accepts EBT/SNAP and community gardens

 “Both new members of the NRMC Board enter at a challenging time for the medical center, but the fact they want to serve proves they believe in this medical center and its growth – and return to financial success, “says Wes Braman, Interim Chief Executive Officer of NRMC.  “They have the experience, passion and drive to help NRMC build on its strengths and move in a positive direction.”

New Board member candidates are nominated by a Board Subcommittee and then recommended to the City Council for Appointment.  NRMC is a nine-member board with at least four coming from within the city limits, and one can be a physician.  If the City Council approves a candidate as a Board member, his or her term starts and is allowed to serve two three-year terms (although sometimes a vacancy is filled and a new member starts in the remainder of an existing term left by another Board member).

The current Board of Directors of NRMC includes:

Steve Russ, Board Chair
Brad Copeland, Vice Chair
Bob Beaver, Secretary
Delton Fast
Candice Moore
Ron Chandler
Wayne Reinert
Kendall Vickers
Kelly Ast

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About Nevada Regional Medical Center
Serving a six-county area since 1937, Nevada Regional Medical Center is a 71-bed acute, intensive and skilled care hospital. Nevada Regional Medical Center has earned recognition as a respected regional medical center for its comprehensive health care services, skilled and caring employees and state-of-the-art medical technology. Staff represent more than a dozen medical specialties, including family practice, women’s services, neurology, urology, psychiatry, orthopaedics, wound care services, and general, vascular, thoracic and oncological surgery. Additionally, consultation clinics are held regularly by specialists in oncology, pulmonology, podiatry, ear, nose, and throat and cardiology.  To learn more, visitor nrmchealth.com.


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