The Bothwell Board of Trustees has four new members after the Sedalia City Council approved at its Dec. 19 meeting to appoint two new members to fill uncompleted terms and expand the board from seven members to nine.
Mayor Andrew Dawson appointed and Council approved Dr. Gregory Doak, a retired Bothwell physician to complete former board chair Stafford Swearingen’s term and John Kehde, former Sedalia mayor, to complete former board member Arwilda Poole’s term. Swearingen and Poole both resigned from the board in December.
New members are Jo Lynn Turley, Legislative and Community program manager at State Fair Community College and Dr. Michael Murders, Academic and Student Success vice president at State Fair Community College.
Mayor Dawson, who became a board member following his election in April 2022, said that over the course of his time on the board, it became clear that the commitment for all members is significant.
“The amount of ground that needs to be covered by the Bothwell Board of Trustees is substantial,” he said. “I believe that one needs to keep in mind that these are volunteer positions, so my thought on expanding the board was to spread the workload so that each member can be more effective in their role.”
Dr. Gregory Doak, an internal medicine specialist, served on the Bothwell medical team from 1988 until his retirement in late 2022. He also served six years as Chief of Staff. Council appointed Doak to complete Swearingen’s term that ends in June 2023.
“With well over 40 years of experience, Trustee Doak has a wealth of institutional knowledge,” Dawson said. “He understands the challenges that exist for today’s doctors and health sciences professionals. I firmly believe he will be valuable in coming up with creative solutions to meet those challenges.”
Doak said his appointment offers him a way to provide “faithful service” to the community.
“This community and this hospital have done so much for me,” he said. “Serving on the board is an opportunity to use some of my past experiences and education for the advancement of Bothwell.”
Former Mayor John Kehde previously served on the board from 2018 to 2022 after the Mayor and City Administrator positions were added as board seats. With this new appointment, he will complete Poole’s term that ends in June 2025.
“Mayor Dawson and I had a discussion in regard to the hospital and he asked me to serve again,” Kehde said. “After considerable deliberation, I believe it’s my civic responsibility. John Bothwell and his fellow visionaries realized that the hospital was important to the successful development of Sedalia and that vision rings true today. My passion is for Sedalia and to maintain Bothwell as a relevant hospital along with relevant amenities.”
Dawson said Kehde’s recent time on the board will be an asset.
“He understands the importance of Bothwell Regional Health Center to the economic vitality of the region as well as the overall health of the community,” he said. “And he knows that financial stability is the key to moving forward.”
Jo Lynn Turley will serve a four-year term and brings more than 20 years of public board experience to the table. From 2012 to 2019, she represented the first ward on the City Council, and she was a member of the Sedalia Park Board from 2000 to 2012.
“Trustee Turley has valuable experience working as a member of two public boards, and she is also respected throughout our community,” Dawson said. “Now residing in Benton County, my hope is that she can bridge the gap between both service areas and be a voice for that county. I see great potential for our Warsaw clinic as a rural health clinic.”
Turley’s goals are to support Bothwell in providing services and recruiting health professionals and said she agreed to serve on the board because she believes in local access to quality health care.
“I am grateful to the city for the investment made in supporting that effort,” she said. “I want to be an educated and logical voice in the fiscal responsibility and quality competitive growth of services provided to the area Bothwell serves.”
While he is new to the community, Dr. Michael Murders brings a deep background in health care education to the board.
“My background in health care includes working with multiple health care education programs, health care advisory boards and hospital administrators, and my late spouse was a nurse,” he said. “My goals are to support hospital administration in reaching their goals, to provide independent oversight of management, finances and institutional quality, to build community relationships, to set strategic direction, and ensure ethical standards, values and compliance with rules and regulations.”
Dawson said he believes Murders’ commitment to workforce development will be a unique perspective for the board.
“SFCC has the number one nursing program in the state of Missouri,” Dawson said. “Attracting skilled labor and more specifically qualified health science professionals will be a challenge for the foreseeable future. It is my hope that Dr. Murders’ presence on the board strengthens the relationship between Bothwell and SFCC and we are able to capitalize on any opportunities to work together.”
Like many health care organizations across the country, Bothwell continues to cope with ongoing workforce challenges, rising expenses, slow-growth revenue and supply chain issues. Despite these stressors, Dawson is optimistic the board and leadership team will work together to ensure Bothwell’s place in the community.
“If we want to continue to have a strong community and enjoy economic prosperity we must support our public health system and be good stewards of the gift from our community and the late John Bothwell,” he said. “I am grateful to each board member for stepping up and making the sacrifice to take an active role for the betterment of our community.”
With Swearingen’s departure, Deidre Esquivel is now board chair and Kelvin Shaw, Sedalia city administrator, is vice chair. Dr. Paul Bassett remains as secretary/treasurer, and other members include Mayor Dawson and Cam Jennings. The board meets at 5:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at Bothwell hospital.