GREENFIELD — After 20 years, Greenfield resident Tom Haines is leaving the Hancock Regional Hospital Board of Trustees.
He joined the board in June 1995 and is set to retire from it at the end of next month.
The hospital board and the Hancock County Commissioners appointed Ann Vail, associate superintendent of Greenfield-Central Community School Corp., to take his seat on the board.
Haines said leaving the board is bittersweet and that the hospital has always held a special place in his heart.
For the majority of his childhood, there was no hospital in Hancock County. Until 1951, when the hospital was established, the nearest hospital for Hancock County residents was Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, he said.
He recalls a memory from his childhood when he bumped his head, and the police had to drive him to the hospital in Indianapolis.
Additionally, his wife, Pearlann, his sister, mother and daughter have all worked at the hospital in some capacity.
So when a county commissioner approached him about being a board member, he was honored to become part of the hospital’s legacy, he said.
“I thought that’s really something that I get to do that because I know what it was like to have to travel to Indianapolis,” he said.
In his time on the board, he’s served as both chair and vice chair and has been part of nearly every board committee.
The quality council committee was one of his favorites. The committee, and ultimately the board, focused on carrying out the hospital’s vision and mission to provide quality care to all of its patients.
Hancock Regional Hospital Chief Operating Officer Rob Matt has worked with Haines for more than 15 years. The pair served on the board together several years ago.
Haines has been a dedicated, instrumental member of the board, Matt said.
“You could always count on Tom,” Matt said.
Matt said Haines has missed few meetings in his tenure on the board, contributes regularly to conversations and challenges the board to be better.
Haines served time in the military and eventually launched a career at Eli Lilly and Co. as an industrial engineer. Additionally, he worked in food services, facilities planning and information services before retiring.
He then opened Haines Tax Services with his wife, to whom he’s been married for nearly 60 years.
Serving on the hospital board the past two decades has been a joyful experience for him, he said. He’s enjoyed watching the hospital grow and transform to meet a variety of patient needs.
But the doctors, board members and staff members he’s worked alongside during that time are what he’ll miss the most come June, when his term ends.
Now, though, it’s time for him to pass the torch. He’s ready to move on to other adventures, but he knows he’s leaving his seat in competent hands.
“I’m really happy that Ann has agreed to come on the board,” he said. “I think she’ll be a wonderful addition.”
Before being asked to serve on the board, Vail said she had never thought about becoming a hospital board member.
Joining, she said, is one way she can give back to the community.
“It was certainly an honor I really wanted to try,” she said. “This community has offered me so many positive opportunities.”