The Labette Health Board of Trustees honored former Labette County Commissioner Lonie Addis for his almost 40 years of service as a commissioner during Thursday morning’s meeting at the hospital.
Addis received a standing ovation from trustees. He also spoke about his time as a commissioner.
“I don’t want to get too emotional,” Addis said. “I kind of was a politician for a long time, so do I get to say a few words?”
Labette Health EMS Director Randy Grimmett presented Addis a K-BAR knife in recognition of Addis’ service in the Marines.
“Lonie, I want to thank you for your service,” Grimmett said. “Your service to your country in your younger years. And your 40 years of service to our county, and specifically our hospital. Our hospital wouldn’t be where it’s at today if it wasn’t for your unwavering support. And our EMS service, you know, kind of selfishly, ... benefited exponentially from that. I want to thank you for that. I think we have a very elite service. I think every member of our community thanks you as well as our hospital of more than 700 employees. We have all benefited from your many years of service. We’ve got a gift for you. And I’d like to thank you again for all your service.”
“Appreciate that,” Addis said.
On one side of the K-BAR knife blade, a quote from President Ronald Reagan was engraved: “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don’t have that problem.”
The other side read: “Forty years of service. Labette Health thanks you.”
“Four decades is basically a lifetime,” Grimmett said.
“You don’t know how precious that is,” Addis said of the gift.
He said credit is due to the Labette Health Board of Trustees for the success of the hospital.
“Of all the flack commissioners had over the years, one thing we’ve never had problems with is coming to a consensus on the board of directors,” Addis said of the trustees.
Many years ago, nurses sometimes visited Addis’ house to voice their concerns about the hospital.
“But that’s not anymore,” Addis said.
Recently, Addis said one time he was getting his blood drawn at the hospital and heard another patient was at the hospital at 3:30 a.m. and someone was vacuuming the hallway. That person working early in the morning was Labette Health CEO and President Brian Williams.
“And it’s things like that,” Addis said of the dedication of Labette Health employees, including Williams.
He said some of the problems the county faces is funding rural fire and ambulances adequately.
“I wish down the road that we would explore another quarter cent sales tax. Take half of that and divide it equally between the 10 fire districts,” Addis said. And the other half should go to ambulances, he thought.
He mentioned that the sales tax has paid for ambulances for the hospital’s service since the early 1990s.
Addis is impressed with all the services Labette Health offers now.
“It’s because of you folks, because you’ve made it and you’ve expanded more,” Addis said. “Brian has said a lot of times when he’s come to the commission meeting: ‘We have to operate regionally or we don’t operate.’ It’s not because of anything I’ve done. It’s because of what you all have done. It starts with the board of directors, goes to administrative staff, it goes to physicians, it goes to employees.”
He said he appreciated every person at the meeting Thursday.
“I hope nothing but good things come in the future,” Addis said.
“Don’t be a stranger,” Williams said to Addis. Williams thanked Addis for coming to the meeting and for all his support to the hospital. He mentioned how happy Addis was when Labette Health expanded to Oswego after Mercy dropped services there.
“Within a couple weeks, you had a mobile unit put in and operating,” Addis said.
The board Thursday also recognized Dr. Brian Kenkel for his work as chief of staff for the trustees from 2021-2022. Kenkel moved to his hometown of Jefferson City, Missouri, and took a new job there. Williams said Kenkel was not able to attend Thursday’s meeting because of his new position.
“He apologized that he couldn’t be here this morning,” Williams said.
“So he just wanted to thank all you guys for your support that you’ve given him while he was the chief of staff,” Williams added.
Soon, Williams will present a clock to Kenkel for his service as chief of staff.
Dr. Ben Legler replaced Kenkel last year in the chief of staff position.
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.