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Eldon Schumacher to Receive KHA Advocacy Award

eldon schumacher khaIf you have followed the recipients of the Kansas Hospital Association Distinguished Health Care Advocate Award in the past, you know that the honor has usually been reserved for elected officials like Sen. Jerry Moran or Sen. Pat Roberts. This year, however, the KHA Executive Committee took a slightly different view of the award, deciding to look beyond public officials to others who might have a strong record of advocacy on behalf of Kansas hospitals. Well, that search didn’t take long, as there is one person who has a record that is really unmatched in this area. We are pleased to announce that Eldon Schumacher, Great Plains Health Alliance, has been named the 2015 recipient of the KHA Distinguished Health Care Advocate Award.

The Distinguished Health Care Advocate Award recognizes those who provide an exemplary contribution to the health and well-being of the people of Kansas through their leadership in the political or policy arena and their contribution to the improvement of the health care environment. When you apply those criteria, it’s hard to think of anyone in the state who is more deserving than Eldon.

Eldon started his health care career at St. Francis Hospital in Wichita 52 years ago. Eldon has been the vice president of reimbursement for GPHA since 1986. To say that Eldon has been active in association activities is an extreme understatement. He was one of the founding members of the Sunflower Chapter of HFMA; and among many other awards, he received the Founders Medal of Honor. Eldon also has been very involved with the Kansas Hospital Association, serving on or chairing so many councils, policy groups and technical advisory groups that we don’t have space to mention them all.

So, yes, Eldon’s resume alone is more than enough to qualify him for this honor. But when you add to this resume the outstanding personal qualities Eldon brings, it’s easy to see why the KHA Executive Committee chose him to receive the Distinguished Health Care Advocate Award. Eldon has a unique capability to be both patient and tenacious at the same time. Whether it is a staff member, board member, government official or insurance company representative, he will take the time to carefully explain an issue. However, don’t expect him to waiver when he is convinced his interpretation is correct and in the best interest of hospitals and the patients they serve.

Eldon has developed a policy expertise in the reimbursement arena that is second to none; so when he questions a decision of an intermediary or third-party payer, which he often does, he is taken very seriously. He is known as “the” authority on Medicare and Medicaid regulations, rules, policies and reimbursement, not only in the state of Kansas, but nationally. He has spent countless hours advocating with state and federal officials to make these regulations more understandable and efficient. And he does so with a civility that we don’t see enough in the public policy arena these days.

Simply put, every hospital in the state of Kansas has benefited from Eldon’s advocacy efforts. So, thank you Eldon, and congratulations on being named the 2015 KHA Distinguished Health Care Advocate.

Tom Bell – KHA President & CEO

Blog provided courtesy of Kansas Hospital Association Current Report. Shared with permission.

Posted by Aaron Miller on August 25, 2015 in Healthcare Improvement, Our People.


One thought on “Eldon Schumacher to Receive KHA Advocacy Award”

  1. Marcus Gabel says:

    Can’t say enough about his expertise and dedication! I am honored to be an associate and a friend. Marcia Gabel, CFO, Lane County Hospital

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