Smith Co. Memorial Hospital Hires Charles Griffith As Family Practice Director


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SMITH CENTER, Kan. – The staff at Smith County Memorial Hospital is pleased to welcome Charles Griffith as the new clinic director. Griffith will start at Smith County Family Practice in mid-July after relocating to the area from northeastern Kansas.

Charles Griffith

“We’re very happy to bring Charles on board at the clinic,” said Allen Van Driel, CEO of the hospital. “He brings with him a great clinical background and a heart for servant leadership.”

Griffith recently retired from the U.S. Army where he served as a combat medic. He held multiple leadership and treatment positions and has served around the world including in Honduras, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Republic of Chad, South Korea and Lithuania. During his military career, Griffith earned several decorations including the Combat Medics Badge, three Meritorious Service Medals and the Humanitarian Service Medal.

“After a career of moving every couple of years, my family is looking forward to being part of a community,” Griffith said.

Despite experience all over the globe, Griffith and his family are interested in getting back to their rural roots.

“I was drawn to this opportunity to work with new people and continue to learn and grow in my career in healthcare,” he said. “Growing up in rural Oklahoma, I understand that accessibility to quality healthcare is important to every community regardless of population density.”

Van Driel says the team at SCMH saw something more than previous experience that made Griffith the right choice for the clinic role.

“In all our conversations, Charles talked about servant leadership,” Van Driel said. “He would talk about his previous experiences as a manager and how he’s changed perspectives over time. It is clear he has a deep understanding of the human aspect of managing others and working in healthcare.”

Van Driel points out that the mission and values of SCMH dovetail nicely with Griffith’s personal philosophy.

“As a director, I hope to assist the providers in delivering efficient, quality healthcare to all patients,” Griffith said. “I’m optimistic that my understanding of servant leadership will benefit the organization as I learn more about the people and patients we serve.”

Griffith will be moving to the area with his wife, Kimberly. They have four adult children and three grandchildren.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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