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February 2003
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Thank you To Gary Damstra for Years of Service

On January 21st, Beaver Island Rural Health Center Board president Gary Damstra resigned after twelve years of membership. The Board and Staff would like to publicly thank Gary for his service and leadership. Gary first joined the BIRHC Board as St. James Township representative in 1990 and continued as an at-large member after his resignation from that Board. He agreed to take on the presidency two years ago at a very critical time.

Board and Staff members alike cannot express enough appreciation to Gary for his steady leadership over the challenging past two years. Until just a few months ago when transition manager Arlene Brennan was hired, Gary functioned as the Beaver Island Rural Health Center's unpaid manager, personally supervising the Staff and many aspects of the operation of the Center. Before going to his own construction sites each day, he would stop at the Medical Center to listen to Staff concerns and help problem-solve. As president he also spent many hours as chief communicator; chairing and planning public meetings; attending sessions with our legislators both on and off the Island; and personally responding to feedback (positive and negative) from the community. Gary has also put in many hours over the past year interviewing architects and planning for the new facility.

The Beaver Island Rural Health Center Board and Staff recognize the stress Gary must have experienced trying to juggle the demands of running his own business and the business of the Center. Thank you, Gary, for all the personal sacrifices you made in order to reunify the BIRHC Board and to provide an essential sense of stability to the Staff. Thanks also for your way of making everyone connected with the center feel that their contributions were valuable and appreciated. We want you to know how much we value and appreciate your tremendous contribution over so many years!

–The Beaver Island Rural Health Center Board and Staff

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