The Kootenai Health Foundation is overseen by a board of directors comprised of 13 leaders from throughout the community. They are elected by fellow board members. [This is as opposed to the Kootenai Health Board of Trustees that oversees the management of the hospital and is elected by the citizens of this area.]
Foundation board members give countless hours of their time and resources to help the Foundation achieve its mission, vision and goals. They are instrumental in developing community support for Kootenai Health so that it can continue to provide the best possible services to the people in our service area and remain community owned.
Two of those board members are Chad Murray and Sarah Pierce. Although extremely busy in their professional and family lives, they are dedicated advocates for both the hospital and the Foundation. Let’s dive into why they spend their time helping the Kootenai Health Foundation and Kootenai Health.
Chad is the CEO and president of the Murray Group, a regional benefits consulting and brokerage firm specializing in group health and employee benefit programs. Chad attended the University of Idaho from where he graduated in 1999. He lives in Coeur d’Alene with his wife, Colette, and their two children.
Chad has served on the Foundation board since 2016. He has actively participated in the campaign steering committee as well as the finance committee. Most recently he chaired a task force to evaluate how the Foundation could become stronger and achieve greater results. When asked why he is so willing to give back to the Foundation, he stated, “Among all the amazing things this community has to offer, I feel fortunate to have such a strong community-owned hospital. The transformation that our hospital has undergone in the last five to eight years is very important for my family, friends, and colleagues. I’ve had firsthand experience with family members needing care at Kootenai Health. The assurance that they could receive quality care close to home gave me peace of mind. Additionally, from my perspective as a business owner, it is important that my employees and their families can seek care locally, allowing them to be more present and productive on the work front.
“It has been extremely comforting to see our nonprofit hospital reinvesting in expanded services, infrastructure, facilities, quality physicians, nurses, and supporting staff. It is in the best interest of all North Idahoans to continue to support the mission of maintaining an independent community-owned hospital. Nothing is more important than your health. Having a quality hospital system that is forward thinking and truly cares provides peace of mind for you and your family.”
Sarah Pierce joined the Foundation Board in 2017. She is a certified registered nurse anesthetist and a partner with Anesthesia Associates of Coeur d’Alene, the group connected with Kootenai Health. Sarah has worked in a variety of nursing capacities at the hospital for over 16 years. She received her BS in nursing from Washington State University in 1999 and her masters of anesthesia education from Gonzaga University in 2012. She has served on a number of Kootenai Health and medical staff and other committees. Sarah lives in Coeur d’Alene with her husband, Gil, and their children.
Sarah and her family, as a way to give back to the hospital, created a special scholarship for all employees at Kootenai Health to continue their education and training. A young philanthropist, their son, Jack, donates his birthday money every year toward this program.
Since joining the Foundation board, Sarah has served on the campaign steering committee and recently chaired a task force to better integrate the work of the Foundation with the hospital. Sarah has also been a source of enthusiasm and information about the Foundation with members of the medical staff.
“I have spent my career working at Kootenai Health and believe in the patient-centered care we provide to our community. I have watched first-hand the growth of Kootenai Health and couldn’t be more proud. Whether I am responding to a trauma or doing a case in one of our new operating rooms, I get to see the positive impact of our expansion and the direct improvements in patient care first hand. At this point in my career I am committed to paying it forward and supporting an institution that I believe in.”
The Foundation could not achieve such great success without the many donors and local leaders like Sarah and Chad, who have committed time and energy and who so deeply believe in the need for quality health care close to home. For more information, contact the Kootenai Health Foundation at 208-625-4438 or email us at Foundation@kh.org. The website is kh.org/foundation.
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Julie Holt is president of the Kootenai Health Foundation.