Born and practically raised at the former Plainville Rural Hospital, Eric Sumearll is familiar with health care in Rooks County. Now, he’ll work to keep health care progressing in the county as the Executive Director of Rooks County Healthcare Foundation and Rooks County Health Center’s Communication and Development Director.
“My mother, Pat Sumearll, worked as a nurse at the hospital. I spent many hours hanging around the nurses’ station,’ said Sumearll, whose father owned Ivan’s Jewelry,
Sumearll spent much of his adult life in Seattle, Wash. where he followed his passion and talent for acting, co-owned a successful music club as well as worked for a major aerospace museum as the coordinator of interactive education programs. Before his return to Kansas, Sumearll worked for GE Healthcare as the non-exempt staff supervisor for a radiopharmacy (nuclear pharmacy). In this role, he was the quality assurance site liaison to the quality assurance lead for North America, and involved in environmental, health and safety initiatives.
“The careers that I’ve had previously all had a communication and an educational component to them. I’ve learned that the type of communication used is as important as the message itself. If the message has no appropriate pathway to the recipient, then the message is lost no matter how important it is,” said Sumearll. “Education is the key to building a strong, healthy relationship with individuals and a community as a whole.”
As the Executive Director of Rooks County Healthcare Foundation and Rooks County Health Center’s Communication and Development Director, Sumearll looks forward to helping educate Rooks County and the nearby communities that rely on RCH of the importance of ensuring that quality, efficient and local health care is available. “RCH is an asset of incredible value to the county, not just because it provides that immediate, quality care that the people of this area deserve, but also because it is an economic driver, providing jobs and drawing new families and businesses to the county,” said Sumearll.
Sumearll’s personal goal is to make a contribution back to the Rooks County community. For him, the most effective way he sees is to do what he can to make it possible for the dedicated, committed health care professionals at RCH to continue serving and helping not just the current population, but the future generations of the county.
“My parents’ dedication to constantly striving to strengthen our community, not just for themselves but for the future, is something that I witnessed all my life,” said Sumearll. “I hope to do my part to carry on that legacy.”
Now that Sumearll is back home, he’ll be able to spend time with his mother, Pat. “She’s a wonderful, warm and funny person who has given so much to her family and her community. It’s a privilege to be able to spend more time with her and in whatever way I can give back to her,” said Sumearll.
Sumearll also hopes to renew old friendships while forging new ones. Next fall, he plans to hunt pheasant on ground that he walked as a young boy. After being on the coast for many years, Sumearll gets to experience the prairie again. “To me, the prairie is the landscape, terrain and ecosystem that I have always felt most comfortable in, where I can always find a sense of awe or serenity,” said Sumearll.