Norton County Hospital Update

NORTON, Kan. – There has been recent media coverage of the financial performance of Norton County Hospital (NCH) and reported rumors that this facility is on the verge of closing. There is absolutely zero truth to these rumors.  The presentation from the auditors in January indicated Norton County Hospital has had a bad year. However, NCH is not alone as this is a particularly difficult time for rural hospitals across the country. We are committed to working together to make financially responsible decisions to ensure that we preserve our local hospital.

The Norton County Commissioners appointed two new members, Rich Miller and Jimmy Todd, to the board in January. These appointments bring vast professional experience to the board. Jimmy currently is CEO/General Manager of Nex-Tech. He has past experience serving on the hospital board in Ontario, OR at an organization about twice the size of Norton’s and part of the CHI organization.  Jimmy has 20+ years serving on boards of various organizations and associations at the local, state and national levels. Rich served NCH for 43 years, being Chief Executive Officer for over 30 years.  In 2013, the Kansas Hospital Association awarded him the Charles S. Billings Award, the highest award for hospital leadership.

The Board of Trustees is diligently working to ensure the ongoing success of NCH.  Rural health care is vitally important to ensure health care for all our citizens and surrounding communities.

Jill Edgett – President of NCH Board of Trustees
Brian Kirk – NCH Chief Executive Officer

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
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 2020 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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