On the last stop of a 102-county tour through Illinois, Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti told Gibson Area Hospital administrators and board members that she was “most excited about this [visit] because you’re the example!” Referring to the health care organization’s successful growth and award-winning care, Sanguinetti wanted to know what Gibson did to become the example in rural healthcare. CEO Rob Schmitt gave credit to the long history of support in the community and the great leadership at the board level and within the medical staff. “The goal,” he said, “is to be the model of excellence. We want to be the best and we strive for that every day.”
Asked about the hospital’s community support and strong volunteerism, Illinois State Representative Tom Bennett described the sense of passion that is expressed by the administration and staff. “This passion is connected with community involvement, and they’re reaching out into the community.” Giving examples such as the Nurses Go the Extra Mile 5K and the hospital-based community food bank, which reaches 300 families (approximately 700 individuals), Bennett, also a Gibson City native, has seen firsthand how the hospital positively impacts the local communities.
Gibson’s newest C-suite addition CFO Bryan Coffey agrees. Coming from a much different environment, he said it is good to be part of an organization that is ingrained in the community. Shortly after arriving at Gibson, he was first impressed with a tradition that has been occurring annually since the hospital opened in 1952—a steak hosted by the physicians to show appreciation to employees. “It’s an example of giving back to the greater good.”
The Lieutenant Governor, noting that despite massive changes being proposed, a positive outlook is needed for the future. “Good things are happening—just slowly. Things will be getting better.”
With all 102 Illinois county visits complete, Sanguinetti followed up her tour with a Facebook post that let her constituents know where good things are already happening. “Gibson Area Hospital has a top-notch combination of family practice medicine and community involvement. They are the model for rural healthcare.”