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At a recent dedication ceremony, Mike St. Ledger, President of Fairfield Memorial Hospital Association, had the honor of dedicating the new board room on behalf of the current Board of Directors. 

At the ceremony, Mike St.Ledger stated, “It is an honor for me, and it’s by the unanimous vote taken by the current Board of Directors of Fairfield Memorial Hospital that we dedicate and name this board room the Harlan Yates Board Room.  It will forever be a small token of appreciation for Harlan’s vision and leadership to Fairfield Memorial Hospital and his service to his community.”

Back in October of 2011, Fairfield Memorial Hospital announced the retirement of their Board of Director President, Harlan Yates, due to health reasons. Yates, who had provided leadership for the past 47 years, served as a member of the board from 1964 to October of 2011 and became President of the Fairfield Memorial Hospital Association Board of Directors in January of 1994 and remained President until retiring last fall.

“Service to his community has always been Harlan’s motto.  He was a community banker, helping many families and businesses to a prosperous future.  He not only led the local bank in Cisne, but held the offices of treasurer and secretary in the Illinois Bankers Association.  In addition, he served his church and many other local community organizations.  Harlan’s wife Wilma has been at his right hand in every endeavor and has been his solid rock of support,” stated Mike St.Ledger.

St. Ledger added, “Harlan has been a trusted advisor and supporter of many administrative leaders of this hospital.  Few indeed are men, such as Harlan, who have dedicated so much of their time and treasure in service to their community.”

In order for Harlan to be remembered for many more years to come, Fairfield Memorial Hospital installed in silver lettering, “Harlan Yates Board Room.”  In addition, Harlan’s photo indicating his 47 years of service was framed and is hanging in the new board room in the Medical Arts Complex. 
FMH CEO, Katherine Bunting, Ph.D., also offered a few words regarding Harlan’s stellar leadership during the dedication ceremony. 

“Harlan has always been a strong man.  He weathered many storms.  When Harlan began serving in 1964 headlines read - with the development of Medicare hospitals will close and medical schools will shut down.  The 1970’s brought foreign J-1 Visa physicians and foreign trained nurses.  The 1980’s included DRG’s, and again hospitals thought the sky was falling.  Then in the 1990’s came the Balanced Budget Act and the need to do more with less.  In 2001, came Critical Access Hospitals and some people thought this was the flavor of the month concept, but FMH proved to thrive through this transition.  Now in the 21st Century we are looking at Health Reform, which we too will survive through.  However, I am saddened to say that we will weather this storm without Harlan’s leadership,” stated FMH CEO, Katherine Bunting, Ph.D.

Upon retiring, Harlan said, “Kathy, I’m ready to turn over the gavel to the younger ones. But as all things change, so must the composition of the Board.  I give great honor and respect to my fellow board members who are quite capable of continuing to govern the hospital under your leadership." 
Katherine Bunting, FMH CEO says, “Words cannot express the gratitude and respect those of our organization have for Harlan Yates.  He not only has been a trusted advisor during many healthcare changes, but also has been there to our organization down a path of expansion, which we will continue to follow for many years to come.” 

Pictured are the current board members with Harlan Yates in front of the Hospital Board room recently dedicated in honor of Yates.  Pictured from left to right: Mike Brown, FMH CFO; Donna Sullivan, Jared Vaughan, Dale Warren (FMH Board of Directors Vice President), Wilma Yates, Harlan Yates, Mike St.Ledger (FMH Board of Directors President), Martha Heflin (FMH Board of Directors Secretary/Treasurer), Sandra Simpson, Jamie Pollard, Patrick L. Molt, M.D., Rena Talbert, and Katherine Bunting, Ph.D., FMH CEO.


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