Tuesday, May 13, 2008

BAMC recognized during National Hospital Week

Having a hospital in a small community such as Baldwin provides more benefits than the obvious one of immediate access to medical care.

The benefits also include employment opportunities and a huge payroll which adds vitality to the local economy.

This week, May 11 through May 17, is National Hospital Week, and upon reflection, the benefits of having a local hospital become apparent.

Julie Herman, Chair of BAMC's Board of Trustees said the hospital is "vitally important to the community and surrounding service area." She complimented the "dedicated and loyal employees" for their personal approach to patient care.

Baldwin Village President Don McGee, who also serves on BAMC's Board of Trustees said a hospital is a major factor in business recruitment. "Businesses look at whether there's a hospital, at the schools and at the parks," he said. "So the hospital is very important" to the community in ways other than the medical care it provides to area residents.

"Our goal is that Baldwin Area Medical Center is well thought of by people in the area as providing high quality, friendly health and wellness services," said BAMC CEO Greg Burns. "What probably comes to mind less often for people is the large stimulus the Medical Center generates for the local economy. As one of the largest employers in the area, and a major purchaser of goods and services, the Medical Center's contribution to the economic vitality of the area is very significant."

The local economy is a beneficiary of having a hospital. The salaries paid to BAMC employees last year amounted to $9,970,000. The employment opportunities span a range of categories, including CNAs, RNs, MAs and LPNs.

For the first six months of this fiscal year, there have been 600 admissions to BAMC, and the average daily census is 8.6.

In addition to hospital and clinic services, BAMC provides important adjunct services and activities. Physical therapy and cardiac rehab are provided in BAMC's Wellness Center. An exercise area-the Fitness Center-open to the general public, along with a therapeutic pool, is also
part of the Wellness Center.

Pastor and Mrs. Draayer to head for retirement in California

An aspect of growing up that was denied to his children is a primary motivation for the early retirement of Rev. Leon Draayer as pastor of The First Reformed Church of Baldwin and as a "minister of word and sacrament" in the Reformed Church in America.

"I would have liked to stay longer [at The First Reformed Church]," said Pastor Draayer, "except for the age factor and the family factor having stayed back in California. I could have easily served until I was 65 except I have two grandchildren and I need to be the grandparent to my grandchildren that my grandparents were to me." He added that because of the five different churches he served during his ministry and the moving that entailed, his children never had the experience of growing up with their grandparents nearby.

"My main reason for quitting and going back [to California] is to be a grandpa to my grandkids," said Pastor Draayer.

Pastor Draayer and his wife, Marion, will load up a truck on May 23 and make the journey to Mira Loma, California, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles. Their last Sunday at First Reformed Church is May 18.

The Draayers are moving to Country Village, a 115 acre complex with 96 units. Each unit has four apartments on a single level.

The best feature of Country Village is its location just a few miles from each of the Draayers' daughters, Heidi, Andrea and Leah-and their grandkids.

"We're basically going back to where we came from," said Pastor Draayer, adding that they won't be able to attend the church he served there because it no longer exists. Instead, he said, the couple will probably attend a Presbyterian church in Riverside, which has a bell choir. Marion has been a member of Zion Lutheran's bell choir for the last six years and would like to continue that activity.

The Draayers' daughter, Andrea, is getting married soon after they return to California. Pastor Draayer said he will think about getting a job, perhaps with Forest Lawn Mortuaries helping people plan their services. "I feel that's somewhere within my experience and giftedness."

Pastor Draayer said that some things stand out in his mind about his service in Baldwin. "God blessed me with a great and loving congregation and I am thankful for the six and one-half years here."

As everyone who knows Pastor Draayer is aware, he is not a fan of winter. "I won't miss the cold weather and salt," he noted.

But he will fondly remember his time in Baldwin, he said. Several events stand out for him. First, the 100th year anniversary of the First Reformed Church during which the congregation met the goal of giving $100,000 over-and-above the church's budget, and it was all given away to a variety of causes. "I didn't believe it was possible, even though it was my idea," said Pastor Draayer, "but we gave $103,000-that was just amazing.

"I think what I've appreciated about this congregation is they love the preaching of the Word, and I love to preach it. They are very attentive people. I always thought they were listening and they simply love the Word. I believe that they accepted Marion and me. We have felt loved, we'll leave a lot of good friends. We'll miss them."

Pastor Draayer also noted the church's family night suppers, especially the home cooking, and the fact ("something I had nothing to do with") that First Reformed has sent 16 people into the pastoral ministry and one into mission service. "Which for a church of this size, I think is pretty amazing."

Pastor Draayer's successor has already been chosen and he will be coming into a good congregation. "For my successor this will be a great place to start and to learn how to do ministry."

Pastor Draayer said he has enjoyed his floor level, center court seat at B-W basketball games with Carley Lokken and Pete Vrieze. He enjoyed his membership in the "Table of Knowledge" men's coffee group. Also, he said, the local pastoral group is a strength. Not all churches belong, he said, "but of the six that do, there is a real sense of Christian brotherhood and collegiality. I've been a part of a ministerial association before but never to this degree where we can really work together. The pastors genuinely have a good time together. We like each other and we support each other. It's pretty special."

He also said that he has some regrets from his time in Baldwin. "I wish I could have grown the church more than what I did." He added another regret was that he did not become more involved in community events sooner and he did not volunteer for more things.

Forensics team wins excellence award

An "Excellence in Speech Award" was presented last week to Baldwin-Woodville forensics coaches Roxi Wakeen, second from left, and Angela Schmoker, second from right. The award was presented by B-W's Wade Labecki, left, who serves as District three chair on the board of the Wisconsin High School Forensic Association. Also in the picture is B-W High School Principal Eric Russell.

The "Excellence in Speech Award" is given to the top five percent scoring schools that compete at the state speech festival at UW-Madison. Only 18 schools state-wide qualify for the award.

Over 4,000 students competed in Madison, representing 364 school districts. The award commendation said that Coaches Schmoker and Wakeen "have compiled enough points to be recognized as an outstanding speech program."

The B-W forensics program was also recognized as the top one in this district.

This is the fourth "Excellence in Speech Award" that has been won by the B-W program while Mrs. Wakeen has been coaching forensics.

Hovde appointed Municipal Judge

At a special Baldwin Village Board meeting last Monday, May 5, trustees named Tamora Hovde as the new municipal judge for the village.

She attended training sessions for municipal judges last week, said Village Presdent Don McGee. While she is training, municipal court sessions for Baldwin have been delayed.