In this episode of Rural Health Leadership Radio, we’re talking about some of the unique things Hillsdale Hospital is doing to serve their community. We’re having that conversation with the hospital’s CEO, J.J. Hodshire. Located in southern Michigan near the Ohio and Indiana borders, Hillsdale Hospital is a Critical Access Hospital located in Hillsdale, Michigan.
“Our philosophy is to take it right to the community.”
Love of God, love of family, love of community. Those three things drive Jeremiah “JJ” Hodshire, ’99, in his many roles: as the new president and CEO of Hillsdale Hospital, as a minister, as a community advocate, and as a husband and father. In a year when health care and hospitals have dominated the national conversation, JJ’s love of the Hillsdale community has motivated him to work tirelessly to bring attention to the importance of rural hospitals.
A Hillsdale County resident since early childhood, JJ graduated from Camden-Frontier High School and matriculated to Hillsdale College, something he considers “the best decision of my educational career. Hillsdale College formed me into the man I am today.”
A political economy major, he fondly recalls “passionate professors” such as Mickey Craig (politics), Ken Calvert (history), and Richard Ebeling (economics), as well as his senior thesis class with then-president George Roche. “The small classes, the access to guest speakers through CCAs, the wonderful things I learned about how free markets work and about our Judeo-Christian heritage—these all gave me a solid educational foundation,” he says. “Furthermore, Hillsdale taught me how to learn and how to write, and how to manage my time—all things I use in my career.”
In 2010, JJ joined Hillsdale Hospital as director of organizational development, where he was responsible for human resources, staff education and training, safety, security, and governmental affairs. In 2018, he was promoted to vice president, then a year later, to chief operating officer. Last June, he took the helm upon former president Duke Anderson’s retirement.
“Working in health care is the best job I’ve had,” JJ says. “Every day is different and dynamic, and it’s very rewarding.”
It’s that spirit of the community that motivates JJ to volunteer his time in so many other ways beyond his job at the hospital. He currently serves on the boards of the Hillsdale County Community Foundation, Southeast Michigan Workforce Development, and the Local Development Finance Authority of the city of Hillsdale.
“I want to see this community thrive,” he says. “So I want to be at the table to make decisions that will help direct the community.”
JJ is also an ordained minister, and for 20 years, he has served in a pulpit supply capacity for local churches. “I’ve always had a passion for ministry,” he says.
With such a demanding career and schedule, JJ is grateful for the love and support of his wife and their four children. He is also grateful for the foundation he received at Hillsdale College. “It all started with Hillsdale College,” he says. “I believe in the ideals of the College. I believe in this community. It’s a wonderful feeling to serve the College and the community.”