Floyd Medical Center Straightforward

There are Saints Among Us

Posted by Kurt Stuenkel, President and CEO
March 18, 2019

Floyd has lost some dear friends who have passed away in the past few months. Tim Mahanay, Richard Jewel, Tooken Richardson Cade, Charles Parker, and Gardner Wright all have recently passed. Tim Mahanay was a Floyd board member for many years. Richard Jewell served for many years on the Polk board. Tooken Richardson Cade was a long-time volunteer and one of the first presidents of the Floyd Auxiliary, the predecessor to our current Volunteer Services program. Charles Parker years ago was a member of the Hospital Authority of Floyd County. Gardner Wright was a long-time board member and past chairman of the Floyd Healthcare Foundation. They are fondly remembered and sincerely missed.

There are many other distinguished leaders, physicians, and employees who are no longer with us, who meant so much to us at Floyd. I know many great folks have served here, and I encourage you to remember them. It’s good to take time to reflect on people we cared about and who inspired us.

It is sad and bittersweet when people you have a relationship with pass away. We remember the good times, the meaningful lives they lived, and the people they touched. We miss them.

I am currently reading a devotional book by Catholic priest Henri Nouwen. In it, he talks about sainted people from the past, and especially from the centuries of church history. He makes the wonderful statement that they don’t really die. They live on in our memories, in the people that they still influence and touch, and in the good works they performed. Perhaps the Catholic faith is onto something with the celebration of saints. Nouwen states that saints continue to live. Don’t you agree, as you reflect on the important people in your life? This notion gives perspective, with comfort and inspiration, on the arc of our lives. It provides a guide for what we should do and how we should strive to live. We miss those who have passed on. We celebrate who and what they were, and we strive to be like them.

Each of the folks I named had remarkable lives and scores upon scores of people who loved and admired them. If you live long enough in a community, you get the privilege to know a lot of people. You also get to know and admire a lot of really great ones.

There are a lot of saints in the Floyd family among those who have passed and those who remain. For those of us who are here now, I am grateful that we all work side by side to provide compassionate care for people in our community when they are most vulnerable. We do important work. May we all continue to serve in the spirit of those who have gone before us.


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Kurt Stuenkel

About Kurt

Kurt Stuenkel has served as President and CEO of Floyd since 1996. He leads a health care system that includes a 304-bed hospital with a level II trauma center and a level III NICU, a family medicine residency program; a 25-bed critical access hospital; a regional primary care network; urgent care centers; and a hospice program. As CEO, Kurt is faced with the many challenges that come with leading a multi-faceted organization that includes a safety net hospital.

He has written articles for, and is faculty with the American College of Healthcare Executives on the topic of Lean Six Sigma and the 120 day workout methodology, and he frequently hosts visitors who wish to learn about the implementation of these techniques.

Kurt has served as Chairman of the Georgia Hospital Association, the Georgia Alliance of Community Hospitals, and VHA Georgia; as a member of the American Hospital Association’s Metropolitan Section and Regional Provider Board; and as a member of the Georgia Trauma Care Network Commission and the Georgia Health Strategies Council.

Under Kurt’s leadership, Floyd has won numerous state and national awards for supply chain, quality, public relations and programmatic excellence, with a focus on culture, performance, new programs and facilities.