Job description:

A hospital trustee is a steward of the hospital. The three primary functions of a trustee are to provide oversight on the financial health and stability of the hospital, help to select the senior administrative leaders, and provide the equipment and facilities required for the delivery of safe and high quality care.

Years lived in Columbia:

44 years — since college, except for 8 years in Northern California when my husband was in the Navy.

Original hometown:

St. Louis.


Bachelor’s degree in nursing from MU.

Favorite volunteer/community activity:

Hard to choose! My primary is my trustee position at Boone Hospital. I also love my work with the Chamber Ambassadors, Metro Rotary, and PIE reading program, as well as the Boone Hospital Foundation and the Assistance League of Mid-Missouri.

Professional background:

Pediatric nursing at St. Louis Children’s Hospital and intensive care nursing at MU, in Oakland, California, and at Boone Hospital. Also being the medical office manager for my husband’s orthopedic practice.  

A favorite recent project:

Along with my fellow trustees, it’s building and opening the BHC Nifong Medical Building. It is a beautiful, state-of-the-art medical building.

Columbia businessperson you admire and why:

This was a hard one! There are many whom I admire, but I think I would say Karen Miller because she does such a wonderful job of connecting people so that both benefit from knowing each other, and, therefore, our whole community benefits.

Why I’m passionate about my job:

Health care is important to all of us. My entire professional life, I’ve worked to provide quality health care for all — at the bedside, as an office manager, and now as a trustee.

Why I’m passionate about my company:

Just walk into Boone Hospital and you’ll understand what we call the Boone Touch. It’s so much more than bricks and mortar; It’s our employees and physicians, our culture, our way of being. I am absolutely honored to be a Boone Hospital Trustee.

If I weren’t doing this for a living:

I’m retired — I receive no pay as a volunteer trustee, so I’m doing exactly what I want to do!

What people should know about this profession:

A trustee’s job involves many things: opening bed towers, medical office buildings, and ceremonies in the Healing Garden are a very small part of what we do. As elected trustees, we have a fiduciary responsibility to monitor our hospital finances and operations.

Biggest lesson learned in business:

It’s business — don’t take it personally. I’m still working on this!

My next professional goal:

To complete our lease negotiations for Boone.

The next challenge facing my industry:

Health care is rapidly changing at the federal, state, and local level. We need to be flexible to meet the changing health care landscape to remain a strong, viable organization.

How would you like to impact the Columbia community:

I want to do my best to keep high quality health care available to all citizens of Columbia for many years to come.

Greatest strength:

I listen to people.

Greatest weakness:

Sometimes I take things too personally. Also chocolate, but is that really a weakness?

What I do for fun:

Spend time with my beautiful grandchildren!


My husband, Dr. Wilson Beckett, a retired orthopedic surgeon. Two adult children: Sarah Ference, CPA, risk control consulting director at CNA Insurance in Chicago; and Nathan Beckett, fourth year medical student in the integrated pediatric program at MU School of Medicine. We also have four beautiful grandchildren: Alice, 8, and John, 4, in Chicago and Ella, 10, and Henry, 1, in Columbia.

Favorite place in Columbia:

Having an adult beverage with my husband in our backyard by the “Creek to Nowhere” in the train yard.  

Accomplishment I’m most proud of:

That’s easy — my children!

Most people don’t know that:

I was made an honorary Kewpie for my volunteer work at Hickman High School in 1996.

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