We’re talking about the 340B Program with Karen White, the CEO of Missouri Highlands Healthcare, Dennis Shelby, the CEO of Wilson Medical Center, and Austin Gillard, CEO of Clay County Medical Center. Karen, Dennis and Austin were 2018-2019 Rural Health Fellows with the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), where they focused on rural preparedness, culminating in a Policy Paper presented to and adapted by the NRHA Rural Health Congress.
“In our study, it was determined that 55% of rural hospitals would close if it were not for the 340B Program.”
Dennis Shelby has worked in healthcare for 40 years. He began his career as a medical social worker and for the last 26 years, has held various hospital CEO positions. His journey involved stents in top leadership positions in psychiatric, rehabilitation and rural hospitals. He believes healthcare is a calling and ministry. He received the 2014 Custom Learning System “Inspiring Administrator” Award and was the 2016 Founders Award recipient for that same organization for over 30 years of committed leadership in the healthcare field. He is the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Becker’s “50 Rural Hospital CEO’s To Know.” In 2018 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award for his leadership in healthcare from Hope International University. He and his wife of 44 years, Judy, have two amazing daughters and 4 grandchildren.
“We have to be strong proponents for each other. We cannot be silos.”
Karen R. White joined Missouri Highlands Health Care, a Federally Qualified Health Center, in March 2009 as the Chief Financial Officer. Through her drive, integrity and work ethic, she provided financial leadership, growing the organization into a sustainable & viable health care provider while overcoming significant financial challenges. In October 2014, she furthered her passion for community health by stepping into the CEO position for Missouri Highlands. Since that time, she has led the organization through transformation & growth, embracing the challenges of providing primary care in seven rural counties in the southern Missouri Ozarks region. Ms. White has continually sought unique care delivery options to better serve the rural population and while focusing on breaking down existing silos in providing care across the continuum of care community.
White, a certified public accountant (CPA), obtained her Bachelors of Applied Science in Administration with concentration in Marketing and Management from Southwest Baptist University in 1994 and her Masters in Accountancy from Missouri State University in 2007. During and after college she worked in healthcare, banking, retail, management and Social Services prior to obtaining her CPA license and working in public accounting.
Away from work she enjoys time with her 6-year-old daughter, Maive, floating the crystal clear waters of the Current River and roaming the hills of the Ozarks on her Harley-Davidson motorcycle. White’s parents are credited with instilling in her a strong work ethic, drive to succeed and commitment to serving others. “Growing up, my parents served as strong role models of integrity and faith. They never compromised their message of service, hard work and education as the path to success. This coupled with my desire to not have to feed 250 head of cattle for the rest of my life drove me to succeed.”
“340B is vital for our rural to stay viable…”
Austin Gillard was raised in Overland Park, Kansas. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and received a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration from the University of Missouri. Austin’s background in healthcare started in 2008 as a physician recruiter. In 2011, Austin moved into a management role and was responsible for six hospital emergency departments in Kansas and Missouri. In early 2013, Austin developed a ‘rural track administrative fellowship’ and moved to Pratt, Kansas, to work under the CEO of Pratt Regional Medical Center as an Administrative Fellow. In late 2013, Austin was given to opportunity to become the CEO of Genoa Medical Facilities (GMF), located in Genoa, Nebraska. In 2015, Austin became the CEO of Clay County Medical Center (CCMC), located in Clay Center, Kansas. CCMC is a 25 bed CAH with three RHC’s and 300 employees.
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