Supporting the vision, mission and purpose of TRH
THREE RIVERS — “It’s a great celebration, a new beginning for Three Rivers Health and the Three Rivers Health Foundation,” Dave Casterline, Three Rivers Health Foundation executive director, told those present at a special Foundation event held at HealthTRAC on Thursday, May 18.
Three Rivers Health CEO Bill Russell said that when he first arrived at the hospital, “we were on the precipice of closing … 90 percent of the meetings were spent discussing financial survival.”
However, because of the leadership of the governing board of Three Rivers Health System, Inc., and the hospital’s 500 employees, this is no longer the case: now, they can look at a long-term vision and ways to sustain the hospital.
Russell and hospital board chair Larry Clark spent about a year contemplating bringing back the Foundation, so that it could support the vision, mission and purpose of the hospital. When they learned that Casterline was no longer with his longtime employer Armstrong International, they knew the enthusiastic, vibrant and well-connected man was the right person for the executive director post, and it was time to move forward.
Casterline said the Foundation was formulating a great board, comprised of chairman Ed Reed, Paul Aivars, David Allen, Damon Allison, Ron Buckhold, Brenda Deily, Brian McDaniel and Doug Mitchell, along with hospital personnel Bill Russell, CEO; Steve Andrews, CFO; Ray Bendure, member of the hospital board; Jessica Puckett, chief of staff; and a Three Rivers Health Auxiliary board member to be determined.
What the hospital does is save lives and enrich lives, he said, giving the example of his own cardiac event that took place just over four years ago. He was told by the chief cardiologist at the hospital where he received treatment that if he had not come into Three Rivers Health when he had, and been accurately diagnosed there, he would have been dead by the next morning.
Now his life had come full circle, through its downs and ups.
“God orders your steps,” he said. “He brought me here.”
He has a passion for the hospital and its staff.
“It’s an absolutely amazing team,” he said. “You’re in great hands at Three Rivers Health — I wouldn’t be here without it.”
Attendees of Thursday’s event were treated to appetizers in the form of a pork cook-off featuring the culinary efforts of hospital staff and board members, with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Cameron Yau and hospital sous chef Dawn Arnold winning the People’s Choice vote for their trio of appetizers, while Chef Raghu (Elluru, Three Rivers Health plastic and hand surgeon) and Chef Doug (Raedy, Three Rivers Health ear, nose and throat doctor) earned the vote of Judge Kevin Sullivan — a retired NCAA Division 1 football official — for their pork wellington. Yoder’s provided the meal.
In raffle drawings, Kevin Sullivan won a one-year membership to HealthTRAC; Paul Aivars won tickets to a Detroit Tigers game and Joan McLellan won a $1,000 gift certificate to UniQ Jewelry Gallery.
Elena Meadows is a former managing editor of the Three Rivers Commercial-News who still enjoys writing for the paper.