Kennett surgeon named to state health foundation

Saturday, December 21, 2002

Associated Press/John S. Stewart

Linn Thorton opened a box of donated goods in his shop in Monett, Mo. Thorton has collected and distributed toys in Monett for 24 years.Daily Dunklin Democrat

KENNETT, Mo. -- A Southeast Missouri physician has been elected to the board of directors for the Missouri Foundation for Health.

Dr. Steve M. Pu of Kennett was one of six people selected to serve on the 15-member board of directors. Of the six, three were incumbents. Forty-three people applied for the seats.

"I hope to bring not only an awareness of the foundation to this area, but also to make the foundation aware of the medical and health needs in this part of the state," Pu said.

Pu is a surgeon in private practice in which he has served area residents, regardless of their ability to pay, for more than 18 years.

He is also the medical director of Twin Rivers Regional Medical Center in Kennett and serves on the regional medical center's board of directors.

Pu sought membership on the board to bring recognition of the need to improve access to health care to the large indigent and migrant populations in this part of Missouri.

"A lot of people in the state are just not aware of the need that exists here," he said. "And I think the foundation is becoming aware of us and is anxious to help."

The Missouri Foundation for Health was established through the sale of Blue Cross/Blue Shield as a result of action by Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon. Leftover assets from the sale were invested by the not-for-profit organization, which now has over $850 million in assets, Pu said.

The Missouri Foundation for Health region covers 84 counties and St. Louis. Established in January 2000, it is the largest health care foundation in the state. Its mission is to improve the health of the people in the communities it serves. Its 15-member board of directors is charged with managing assets of $850 million and with developing programs to address the unmet health care needs in its region.

Nominations of board members is done through the foundation's Community Advisory Committee. The committee also conducts interviews of board candidates.

Board terms are for three years, and incumbent directors are eligible for renomination for an additional term.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: