Parkland Health Center recently bid farewell to three outstanding individuals who have served a collective 116 years in the health care profession. Steve Marler retired in July 2018, while Sheri Graham and Dr. Kevin Boatright retired in January 2019. These three recent retirees have made a considerable impact during their lengthy careers.
Dr. Kevin Boatright, allergy specialist, Medical Arts Clinic
Dr. Kevin Boatright retired January 2 following a 35-year medical career. Born and raised in Farmington, Dr. Boatright was educated at UMKC Medical School and University of Southern Illinois family medicine residency program in Decatur.
Although he started his practice in family medicine at Medical Arts Clinic, he was always interested in allergy. “I’m a rural kind of guy; I like nature,” he says. “I like to be out on the farm and I love to garden. Dealing with ragweed, plants, weather – I’ve always had that interest.”
Dr. Boatright saw the tremendous need for allergy services in the region and was introduced to the AAOA (American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy) by Dr. Stanley Thawley, another well-known and respected physician who recently retired from Parkland. Dr. Boatright pursued the required training and began treating allergy patients in 1994. His office records document well over 10,000 different patients. He has treated three generations. As his career recently drew to a close, patients expressed to Dr. Boatright that they felt like they were losing a family member.
When asked about highlights of his career, Dr. Boatright reminisced about his opportunity to have an impact on many people throughout the years and the satisfaction he felt by helping improve his patients’ lifestyles. He added that in addition to his years as an allergist, “Family medicine also offered a lot of neat experiences. Back in the days when we didn’t have ER doctors, you were the ER doctor and at the same time have to cover ICU and cover labor and delivery … those were all very rewarding.”
Over the years, Dr. Boatright served his community on the ambulance district board and the Farmington school board as well as multiple positions at St. Joseph Catholic School. He served many years as president of Medical Arts Clinic, including during the merger between Bonne Terre Hospital, Farmington Community Hospital and BJC HealthCare, and the start of the relationship between Medical Arts Clinic and BJC Medical Group.
Sheri Graham, director, human resources
Sheri Graham retired January 1 from the position of director of human resources, a title she has held since 1992. Graham began her 39-year career at Parkland Health Center as a temporary purchasing clerk at Farmington Community Hospital (a predecessor of Parkland). She was soon transferred to personnel clerk, and as her role changed and the hospital continued to grow, Graham was asked to start the personnel department. Throughout her career, she gained experience managing multiple departments and led the hospital’s complex human resources efforts through two successful hospital mergers.
Graham earned her bachelor’s degree in business management from National Louis University in Chicago, Illinois, and later her MBA certificate and master’s degree in business administration from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. During her career, Graham completed numerous additional career-related certifications and was a member of multiple boards and professional associations.
In reflecting on her long career, Graham said, “Serving others is a calling. Being a health care worker is a calling. My job as HR director has been a calling…and a life’s journey! I hope that something has positively touched those I have worked with along the way.” Sheri also praises the people with whom she has worked directly, saying, “I have been very blessed with really good people for many years.”
Kathy Reed, human resources manager at Missouri Baptist-Sullivan has assumed an expanded role as director of HR for both Parkland and MoBap-Sullivan.
Steve Marler, assistant administrator
Steve Marler retired from Parkland Health Center on July 31. Marler began his career in 1976 at Phelps County Hospital in Rolla, Missouri. In 1986 he took a position at Mineral Area Regional Medical Center in Farmington, Missouri, where he spent the next 22 years serving as assistant administrator, and then assistant CEO.
In 2008, Marler started in the position from which he retired: assistant administrator at Parkland Health Center. During his ten years at Parkland, Marler had leadership responsibilities for many areas including care management, physical therapy, laboratory, radiology, dietary, housekeeping and facilities management. He also served as administrator at Parkland-Bonne Terre for five years.
Marler’s education includes a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Southeast Missouri State University and a master’s degree in health administration from Webster University.
In reflecting on his 42-year career, Marler says, “I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked with a great team; to be a part of what I think has been some real progress. I think it’s good to be able to look back and feel good about that.”
Marler says he will miss the people he has worked so closely with. “The well-being of the people you work closely with becomes important to you - important in accomplishing what you are responsible for, but also important to you in just their personal well-being; you care about them.”
Christie Westrich has filled Marler’s role since his retirement and effective January 1, Westrich was promoted to vice president of operations.