The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Letter to Editor

Disappointed In Loss

Dear Editor,

Leah Shimmin, Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Director at the Eagle View Health Center (previously known as Henderson County Rural Health Center) resigned from her postion.

I would like to take this opportunity to make people aware of Leah's service to residents of Henderson County (as well as adjoining counties).

Leah first was recruited in the late 1970's by Tary Brown, Executive Director of the corporation.

Initially, medical services were provided at various sites including the Henderson County Courthouse.

Shortly thereafter, dental, WIC and other needed services were added to the primary medical services and were provided in mobile units located at the curent Oquawka site.

In the early 1980's a new building located at the current Oquawka site, was erected also under the supervision of Tary Brown.

I was hired at that time as receptionist and suddenly realized how fortunate I was to work under the direction of Leah.

I immediately found her to be one of the most honest, patient, understanding, teaching and non-judgemental persons/ health care providers that I had ever been acquainted with.

She took her responsibilty of providing quality, affordable health care to Henderson County residents very seriously.

As time progressed I also witnessed Leah's leadership talent as she agreed to take on the role as Clinical Director and annually prepared the "Health Care Plan" for HCRHC's Section 330 grant application to the Federal Health and Human Services Division.

Leah was very instrumental in bringing many needed additional ancillary health services to the area such as: medical education on various topics to area school, providing many off-site, school located school /sports physical clinics, many health care "fairs" and when there wasn't a pharmacy in town.

She was able to obtain affordable, pre-packaged prescription drugs for health center patients through a relationship with the"Allscrips" program.

In addition to her clinical duties, Leah was always willing to work with all area public health/social providers to improve the health statistics of the residents of Henderson County.

I recall that in connection with Henderson County Health Dept., she provided women's health care screenings for reduced/free services for mammograms and PAP's.

I realize that the above mentioned services are only a small sampling of the many things provided by Leah over the past several years, I would like to say that I feel very blessed to have witnessed such a professional, compassionate individual to do what she has described simply as "her job".

I feel that Henderson County will very much miss Leah's down to earth, non-judgemental way of providing medical care.

I am very disappointed that the current Board and Administration was willing to jeopardize the loss of such a dedicated provider over such an insignificant detail in the whole realm of providing medical services and retaining quality, stable health care providers.

Sheryl Young