Ben­jamin An­der­son, 35

CEO Kearny County Hos­pi­tal, Lakin, Kan.

Modern Healthcare - - UP & COMERS - —Vir­gil Dick­son

Im­prov­ing the health sta­tus of res­i­dents in ru­ral Kansas has been the mis­sion for Ben­jamin An­der­son for more than five years, work that re­flects his pas­sion for help­ing the un­der­served.

Since June 2013, he has led Kearny County Hos­pi­tal, a crit­i­cal-ac­cess fa­cil­ity in the small town of Lakin, Kan., in the south­west part of the state. Be­fore that he led Ash­land (Kan.) Health Cen­ter, which in­cludes a crit­i­cal-ac­cess hos­pi­tal and a skilled-nurs­ing fa­cil­ity.

An­der­son said he is drawn to re­gions where he can help un­der­served and strug­gling pop­u­la­tions. He re­called mem­o­ries of his child­hood, when money was tight while grow­ing up in Hay­ward, Calif., be­fore mov­ing to Spring­field, Mo., at age 15.

“I know what it means to be hun­gry,” he said. “We also used to get med­i­ca­tions from the same clin­ics home­less peo­ple would, be­cause we wouldn’t be able to do so oth­er­wise.”

He’s also a veteran of over­seas mis­sions, hav­ing trav­eled to ru­ral Zim­babwe five times in the past five years to serve at Eden Chil­dren’s Vil­lage and Karanda Mis­sion Hos­pi­tal to help im­prove lo­cal health­care in part­ner­ship with the Via Christi In­ter­na­tional Fam­ily Medicine Fel­low­ship.

An­der­son’s mis­sion­ary spirit also in­flu­ences how he op­er­ates as an ad­min­is­tra­tor, said Ken­dall Kay, mayor of Ash­land, Kan., where An­der­son was CEO of the town’s hos­pi­tal for more than four years be­fore mov­ing to Lakin.

For some time, Ash­land Health Cen­ter strug­gled to at­tract clin­i­cians to the ru­ral set­ting. Through An­der­son’s ef­forts, the cen­ter re­cruited two doc­tors with a unique propo­si­tion: He would al­low them to take up to six weeks’ leave to do mis­sion work in­ter­na­tion­ally or else­where in the coun­try.

“Hav­ing a doc­tor for 10 to 11 months out of the year is bet­ter than noth­ing, and it’s cov­er­age we wouldn’t have had oth­er­wise,” Kay said.

Since com­ing to Kearny, An­der­son has led an ef­fort to launch the Pi­o­neer Baby pro­gram, which aims to re­duce the hos­pi­tal’s high rate of ges­ta­tional di­a­betes, which oc­curs in 11% of preg­nant women be­ing treated at the hos­pi­tal vs. the na­tional av­er­age of 4% to 6%, An­der­son said.

FIRSTother McDon­ald’s. po­si­tion­sJOB: Cashierat and

SCHOOL SPIRIT: Was a

cheer­leader at Drury

Univer­sity, Spring­field,

Mo., dur­ing his

un­der­grad­u­ate years.

FRA­TER­NITY BROTHER:

Is a mem­ber of Kappa

Al­pha Or­der.

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