How did you first get involved in with the Phelps Health Foundation?
My wife and I’s introduction was sponsoring a private chemotherapy room in the Phelps Health Delbert Day Cancer Institute (DDCI) in honor of my mother, Joan Kerr, who died of thyroid cancer.
Who has influenced your decision to donate to the Phelps Health Foundation?
Dr. Jay Crump was my mentor and trainer at Phelps Health. Dr. Jay Crump and Dr. David Myers were instrumental in teaching me as a medical student and intern. They were one of the main reasons why my family moved to Rolla. This was the type of community we were looking for to raise a family. Dr. Crump and Dr. Myers had a strong interest in taking care of the whole person. They have never known a stranger. They treated everyone equally and fairly and would help them in any way, shape, or form. It’s an honor for me to be one of the co-administrators for the Jay Crump, D.O. Memorial Fund where we can pass it on for education and training for our emergency room staff, which he was passionate about.
What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I was raised in a rural Iowa community where our family business was a full-service gas station with a bait shop. I worked 24 hours on the weekend. In the evenings, I enjoyed hunting raccoons with my father not only for enjoyment, but also as another income source for my family.
What has surprised you most about working with the Phelps Health Foundation?
What I have noticed is the involvement of the Foundation in the community. I was not aware of the breadth of this outreach. Phelps Health Foundation serves the needs of patients and the community.
As a strong supporter of the Guardian Angel Recognition Program, why do you feel strongly about this type of program and recognizing employees within the hospital?
In healthcare, there are many highly stressful situations for healthcare workers. The Guardian Angel Recognition Program has become a way for me to reach out in a positive way to people who have done a great job. I have also used it as an avenue for patients and their families who have had positive experiences with the hospital. This allows me to share their story with the Foundation when they may not have the means to do so themselves. When we give someone acknowledgment for something that they have done right, their light gets brighter and they pass that torch onto others. It becomes infectious!
“No matter the situation you are in, there is always something positive you can pass forward.”
How would you describe your personal mission?
Passing it forward. That is something that my wife and I have taught our children and grandchildren. No matter the situation you are in, there is always something positive you can pass forward. It doesn’t matter how much you make, it is what you do with what you make. It is not always financial. It is what you do with your heart, your acts and your deeds.
What do you wish other people knew about the Phelps Health Foundation?
I would like them to know how much outreach Phelps Health Foundation does within the community. For example, assisting with transportation needs, equipment needs, helping patients get to their appointments, or helping parents travel to St. Louis to be with their critically-ill child when they do not have the money to get there. I think many times people do not give because they do not think it makes a difference, but whatever they give helps.