Bates County Memorial Hospital’s board member spotlight features Jerry Jones, who was first elected for his position in 1986, and has served on the board a total of 32 years.
Jerry, who grew up in Bates County and graduated from Butler High School in 1967, believes his hometown hospital is an underrated asset to the community.
“The service we provide to our community is not always recognized," he said. “Our stability in the past benefits us now, and hopefully will continue to in the future. We have good health care providers, which includes everyone here – doctors, nurses, housekeeping, dietary – not just one group, but the entire staff.”
Jerry’s career started with BCMH, cutting grass for the hospital at age 15. He was an orderly for the hospital in 1969 while taking classes in Ft. Scott, then at a nursing school in Nevada, where he earned his LPN in 1974.
In 1973, BCMH was approved by the State Division of Health to provide ambulance service to Bates County, and Jerry was among the first to obtain his EMT license. At the inception of the ambulance program, an employee from every department at the hospital obtained an EMT license to assist with the new ambulance service. Eventually, a dedicated ambulance department was formed, and Jerry served as its first director. To help build the program, he coordinated and taught EMT classes for a number of years in partnership with the University of Missouri. Paramedic services were added around 1978.
Jerry’s career path took him away from BCMH in 1984, but he remained closely connected to the hospital and community through his service with the board of directors. His background in health care, and later in information technology with Truman Medical Center and Cerner, has proved to be valuable in his position. Still, he says, a hospital board member’s role requires ongoing training to stay current with regulations and other changes in the health care industry, which at times evolve rapidly.
Together with his fellow board members, Jones was among the founding members of the Bates County Community Health Foundation, formed in 1998. In 2004, he received the Excellence in Governance Award from the [Missouri Hospital Association].
“My interest has been for this hospital, for this community,” Jerry said. “I have seen the value that we have here. I hope we can continue to have it in the future.”
Jerry and his wife Sharon reside in Butler, and they enjoy spending time with their two grandsons. Their son, Jeremy Jones, is a physical therapist for Rehabilitation Services at Bates County Memorial Hospital.
The hospital medical staff, employees and volunteers thank Jerry Jones for his service.
About BCMH Board Members: As elected officials, BCMH board members serve five-year terms on a volunteer basis, and oversee such matters as making strategic decisions for the hospital, hiring and monitoring an effective CEO, ensuring the hospital is providing quality care, overseeing the hospital's financial well-being, staying educated in healthcare industry news and best practices, and being a representative of the hospital in the community. They delegate the responsibilities for the hospital’s day-to-day operations and decision making to the chief executive officer and the hospital’s management team.