On Monday, September 18, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital expressed deep gratitude to long-standing board members as Robert Pancoast, Elaine Beery, Susan Leach and Randy Biehler retired.
This group is very diverse in professional skills and experience. Each board member brought their own background and strengths to the board over the years.
“We have been very blessed with the amount of talent we have on our local board. Our outgoing members, Bob, Sue, Elaine and Randy, have collectively donated more than 70 years of service to the mission of our hospital,” said Michael Kiley, chairman of the board. “Their diversity and depths of experience have added strength to our board. Each of them has served in leadership positions and were willing to serve whenever asked.”
Each of these leaders served multiple terms. Pancoast served 45 years on the Board and plans to become a foundation board member. Elaine Beery served for 15 years with the hospital board and 21 years with the foundation. Sue Leach served for nine years and Randy Biehler for six.
Pancoast joined the hospital board in 1972 and has served in many capacities, including being the chairman of the board. Pancoast has held office as a nonvoting treasurer of the board since 2002. One of his greatest accomplishments as a board member was engineering the retirement system for our colleagues. He also helped develop a recruiting team for administrators.
“I felt a great connection to the hospital for so many reasons. My children were born here. It was because of an attentive nurse and a very smart doctor that we were alerted to my daughter, Abbie’s disease of cystic fibrosis on her second day of life,” said Pancoast. “If we didn’t have that early warning, her outcome may have been worse. I also will never forget the way that Dr. Virginia Dauz followed her treatment and prognosis over the years. I hope people in the community understand what a valuable asset Good Shepherd is to Shelby County. This hospital attracts doctors and specialists to our area.
He continued, “I had bypass surgery in St. Louis a few years ago, and one morning after coming home, I felt weak. By coincidence, Abbie was home for a visit. She called the ambulance, and it brought me to Good Shepherd. I was losing blood internally, and I was sent by life flight back to St. Louis for more surgery. Where would I have been without Good Shepherd and their attentive staff? I am thankful every day for this hospital and the good people who work here.”
Elaine Beery served on the board for 15 years and the foundation board for 21 years. When she was asked to serve, she reflected on the many family members whose lives were saved because of HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital.
“I have watched the hospital grow and change. I have seen it evolve and stay current with medicine to meet the needs of the community,” Beery said. “The alignment with Prairie Cardiovascular and then HSHS just made our hospital stronger. I love that their goal is to serve everyone in the community and holistically serving their bodies, minds and spirits.”
Sue Leach’s service on the board spanned nine years. She was born at Good Shepherd, then Shelby Memorial Hospital.
“This hospital is so important to Shelby County. During my tenure, I saw the hospital build a new wing and revamp the emergency and radiology departments. I saw us reach out and pull in specialists that our community hadn’t access to before,” said Leach. “This hospital provides 24/7 service to our community and county. I cannot imagine driving 40 or 45 minutes in a cardiac or stroke episode when each moment counts. Becoming part of the HSHS family was the right decision for our community. Our hospital is stronger for it and will be here for the next century thanks to that decision.”
Randy Biehler served for six years on the board, and at least one of his business partners has served on the board since 1978. He was very instrumental in making the HSHS affiliation come to fruition.
“Our company always thought of the hospital as the cornerstone of the community. A strong hospital is indicative of a strong community. It was very important to volunteer our time to this institution and keep it strong. I always worked with wonderful people who also made it easy to volunteer my time,” said Biehler. “I worked with people who had the foresight to step forward and the courage to make hard decisions. The board did that when we joined HSHS. It was time to become part of a larger family where we could grow our services and stay valuable to the community we serve. For 100 years, we have served this community very well. Now, because of this affiliation with HSHS, we are positioned to serve our people well for the next 100 years. This affiliation has given us options and services that we could only dream of before. That’s something of which to be proud.”
All four retiring members have one thing in common, they believe in giving back to the community within which they live. They called it a debt of service All four were longstanding board members who said this retirement comes as bitter-sweet, but they are confident with those remaining on the board that the hospital is in good hands.
As a farewell gift and to honor their service, the retiring board members received a $100 gift to the charity of their choice. Randy Biehler wanted to help those affected by disasters like Hurricane Harvey, so he chose the American Red Cross. To further research for survivors like his daughter, Bob Pancoast chose the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Sue Leach chose Cancer Care Specialists of Illinois. The HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital Rehabilitation Services Department was gifted in honor of Elaine Beery. They also each received a clock or a plaque.
“Their advice and support were vital in the successful alignment with the HSHS system. We sincerely appreciate their service to our hospital and to the communities it serves,” Kiley said.
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Belleville, Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Clare, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.