SIDNEY — A lifetime commitment and dedication to the well being of the citizens of Shelby County was rewarded Thursday evening with the dedication of the Thomas J. Boecker Professional Building.
The building, which is located on the Wilson Health campus, is named its former CEO, Thomas J. Boecker.
“In the fall of 2014 after I had retired,” said Boecker, “I was invited to meet with the board chairman Ken Monnier and CEO Mark Dooley. An offer was made to put my name on the professional building. I was surprised, shocked and honored.”
Boecker said he was feeling both embarrassed and happy and about the honor.
“I discussed the opportunity with my two advisers,” said Boecker. “My first adviser is my wife of 42 years, Sandy. My second adviser is my father. They were both excited about the honor.
“My family has also been a big source of inspiration to me,” he said. “Sandy has been a nurse for 47 years. She spent 28 years in diabetic education here at Wilson Health. She would tell me ‘here’s a different perspective you have to consider.’”
Boecker worked at Wilson Health for 40 years, serving as president and CEO for 17 of those years.
“This is a great honor for Sandy and myself and my entire family,” said Boecker. “I’d like to thank Bonnie Faulkner for all she’s done. Congratulations to everyone who has participated in making this professional building what it is today — a reality.”
The professional building, said Boecker, puts all the staff of Wilson Health in one location. It will provide the access patients will need. If they need another practitioner, that person is located in the same building.
“Recruiting physicians is very difficult,” said Boecker. “It’s very competitive. There’s a lot of nice communities out there.”
With the completion of the professional building, he said, it will enhance the medical group’s ability to recruit new physicians and retain the ones they have.
Boecker recognized two individuals who helped make the building a reality — Dr. Fred Simpson and Gary Giffen. Simpson is the Wilson Health medical director. Giffin is the executive director of the Wilson Health medical group.
Simpson, said Boecker, “had a vision, a passion for a central location for the Sidney medical group. Every time I met with him, he brought it up. His dream has now become a reality.”
Giffen has spent tireless hours behind the scenes making sure all aspects of the relocation of the physicians, nurse practitioners and their staff went smoothly, said Boecker.
Boecker recognized all his family members in attendance — Fred Boecker, his 96-year-young father, his sister and brother-in-law, Ann and Ken Meyer, his sister-in-law, Julie Barker, and his two daughters and their families, Kristina and Brian Lundy and their four children, Alex, twins Andrew and Audrey and Aiden, and Kimberly and Chad Sollmann and their children, Grant and Elise.
His mother-in-law, Dorothy Barker, who unable to attend the celebration.
“She spent 28 years as patient accounts manager here at the hospital,” said Boecker.
During his first years at the hospital, he said, she taught him about patient billing and all aspects of her job.
“But most importantly, she introduced me to her daughter, Sandy,” said Boecker.
The hospital, he said, was a second home to his daughters when they were growing up.
“We were here many late nights,” said Boecker. “We had our meals in the cafeteria.”
Once, he said, a stray beagle found its way from the fairgrounds to the hospital.
“It went into Bonnie’s office and she called me. We adopted him and I said how cute it would be to name him Wilson,” said Boecker. “My daughters said we have too much Wilson in our lives, so we named him Winston.”
Boecker credits his success at the hospital with the employees who worked beside him.
“I worked with good and talented people,” said Boecker. “Since I’ve retired, I’ve been asked if I miss work. I don’t miss some of the stuff that happened, but I do miss the daily interaction I had with the diverse and interesting people I worked with.
“It’s been said you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with,” said Boecker. “I have surrounded myself with many good people.”
Sidney-Shelby County Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Raible thanked Wilson Health for their vision in creating the Thomas J. Boecker Professional Building.
“You are investing in the health and welfare of our community,” said Raible.
The size and scope of the professional building will contribute to the economic health of the community by bringing more job opportunities to the county.
Stan Crosley, chairman of the Wilson Health Board of Trustees, told those in attendance that “This is an exciting time for Wilson health. Tom Boecker presented a vision for the professional building to the board. Tonight we see the vision become a reality.”
Dooley said the professional building will help to enhance the overall experience of the patients seeing the physicians located there. More communication will be available between the patients, physicians and the services they need. There will also be more convenient access to health care, he said.
The ability to recruit new physicians, said Dooley, has now been enhanced with the opening of the professional building.
The Thomas J. Boecker Professional Building is 48,000-square-feet and has three levels where physicians and health care professionals are located. There are currently nine physicians, seven OB-GYN physicians and four pediatricians located in the building.
“The staff has spent countless hours to make this a seamless transition,” said Dooley.
SDN Photo | Steve Egbert
SDN Photo | Steve Egbert
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