Ministry Good Samaritan Foundation board welcomes new members

Three members of the Merrill community have joined the Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Alice LaBorde, Ruth Nelson-Lau and Jeff Verdoorn are the newest members of the 18-member board responsible for oversight of the Foundation whose mission is to promote and support the mission of Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center of furthering the healing ministry of Jesus by continually improving the health and well being of all people, especially the poor in the community.

LaBorde spent more than 40 years as a registered nurse and has called Merrill home for the past six years. She is currently a volunteer at Pine River Elementary School. “My desire to serve on the Foundation board is the result of my 40-plus years as a nurse and a desire to serve the Merrill community,” said LaBorde.

Ruth Nelson-Lau is a Nurse Practitioner in the Walk-In Clinic at Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center. She has lived in Merrill since 1994 and says her first hand experience of seeing people who do not have resources to pay for health care or who could benefit from health care education to lead a more healthy lifestyle will serve the board well. “The Foundation provides a forum for me to help shape the foundation’s mission,” said Nelson-Lau.

Verdoorn is Vice President of Operations for Wausau Paper – Paper Segment. Verdoorn has spent the last 18 years with Wausau Paper and manages paper mills located in Rhinelander, Brokaw, and Mosinee and Brainerd, MN. “I hope to be able to assist with furthering the good work the Foundation does, particularly with increasing business and corporate participation,” said Verdoorn. “There is a great deal of need within our community.”

The Good Samaritan Health Center Foundation was founded in 1985. In collaboration with Good Samaritan Health Center, the Foundation identifies health needs, and through philanthropy, sponsors programs/services and partners with others to help shape the quality and availability of health care and enhance the health and well-being of all people in Merrill and the surrounding communities.

Ministry Good Samaritan Foundation Board leaders include: Kathy Graham, parish nurse at St. Francis Catholic Church (Chair) and Art Lersch, associate professor for UW-Extension, Lincoln County (Vice Chair).

Other board members include Brian Arndorfer, assistant vice president-claims and assistant general counsel, Church Mutual Insurance; Jan Bares, co-owner, Lincoln Lanes; Gene Bebel, retired administrator, Merrill Area Public Schools; Judy Buchler, retired registered nurse; Rich Dabbert, retired, Merrill Police Department; Bill Heideman, Merrill city clerk; Jennifer Heitz, tennis coach, Merrill High School; Sherry Kleinschmidt, owner, Thelma’s; Craig Lau, president, Lincoln Community Bank, Linda Murray, owner, Murray & Associates; Jeff Peterson, Senior Living Specialist, Church Mutual Insurance; Lynne Reindl, Vice President – Reindl Printing; Rob Russell, attorney, Russell Law Office.

“Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center Foundation Board members are mindful of their responsibilities and the desire to ensure that funds are used effectively by listening to the heartbeat of the community, volunteering their time and talents and identifying the health care needs in the community,” said Foundation Director Kathy Brecke. “We are thankful for their service and to those who have supported our efforts in the Merrill Community.”

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