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Long-Time Spencer Hospital Trustee Retires From Board

Sep 25, 2020 02:55PM ● By Med Magazine

Twenty-five years ago, Neal Conover received a call from Spencer businessman and community activist Milt Warner, asking him to consider running for the Spencer Hospital Board. As a fellow community-minded citizen, Conover agreed to seek election, officially joining the board in 1996. After serving through years of challenges and growth, on Thursday Conover asked his fellow board members to accept his letter of resignation, officially retiring as a trustee.

“I’ve enjoyed my service to the community by serving Spencer Hospital. It’s vital to everyone – citizens plus businesses - to have top-notch health care. The hospital brings it all together: Primary care, home health, emergency care, specialty care like dialysis, cancer center and specialty surgical practices. The hospital supports it all,” Conover said. “I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with very bright people who were devoted to the hospital’s success throughout - board members, advisory members, and hospital leadership.” 

Conover continued: “It’s been rewarding to think I’ve helped contribute to the culture of growth and success. Of course, there have been challenging moments when we had to make hard decisions, that’s when my business experience has helped provide some clarity to the decisions. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve and look forward to continuing as an advisory board member.”

Amanda Bare, who has served as an advisory member since 2018, was appointed by the hospital trustees to fill Conover’s position.  In a similar action, the board then voted to appoint Conover as an advisory member. 

“We‘ve valued Neal’s service to Spencer Hospital and the community over many years,” stated hospital president Bill Bumgarner. “His business experience has been valuable to hospital leaders and his fellow board members throughout many decision-making processes.  I know that I’ve become a more well-rounded and thoughtful administrator due his counsel, high expectations and encouragement.”

Since Conover joined the board in 1996, Spencer Hospital has grown in numerous ways. The professional staff increased from about 400 to over 500, as hospital service volumes have grown and new services have been added.  Service expansion has included the Abben Cancer Center, a second dialysis center, outpatient behavioral health, Athletic Enhancement, surgical robotics and home medical equipment; and partnerships formed to collaborate with family medicine, orthopedic and ear, nose and throat physician practices. 

“It’s rewarding to be a part of an organization which has such a tremendous impact on the people in our region,” Conover expressed. “I’ve appreciate the collegiality and friendships and look forward to continuing to work with hospital leadership in a new role.”

Hospital board president Steve Lensing indicated that Conover has been a reassuring presence to his fellow board members.

“Whenever Neal joined in a vote in support of a facility project, new technology or other important initiatives, we all felt just that more confident it was the right thing to do,” said Lensing. “He’s a fine example of what being an effective governing board member is all about.”