OHA presents awards to outstanding leaders during annual convention

Posted on: 12/12/18

Jimmy Leopard, FACHE (center) receives the Cleveland Rodgers Distinguished Service Award from David Whitaker (left), OHA board chairman, and chief administrative officer, Mercy-West Community; and Patti Davis (right), OHA president.
Charles E. “Chuck” Skillings (center) receives the Advocacy in Action Award from David Whitaker (left), OHA board chairman, and Patti Davis (right), OHA president.
Craig W. Jones, FACHE (center) receives the OHA Award of Merit from David Whitaker (left), OHA board chairman, and Patti Davis (right), OHA president.
Anja Du Toit (center) receives the David J. Falcone Award from David Whitaker (left), OHA board chairman, and Patti Davis (right), OHA president.
Health care professionals from throughout the state attended the OHA’s 99th Annual Convention & Trade Show, Dec. 5-7, at the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City. In addition to the educational sessions and annual trade show, other convention highlights included the presentation of several awards to Oklahoma’s outstanding health care leaders.

During the convention, Jimmy Leopard, FACHE, CEO, Wagoner Community Hospital, received the Association’s highest award, the W. Cleveland Rodgers Distinguished Service Award, in recognition of his outstanding service to the health care industry.

Leopard has been the CEO at Wagoner Community Hospital for 12 years. He served on the OHA board as northeast region chairman from 2011 until becoming chairman-elect in 2014. He served as chairman of the OHA board in 2016 and 2017 and continues to serve on the board as past chairman and a member of the executive committee. He has also served on the OHA Council on Policy and Legislation, Committee on Auditing, and Council on Education. Leopard led his hospital to receive the OHA-PAC Award of Excellence in 2015 and 2017.

In addition to his service to the Oklahoma Hospital Association, Leopard has been recognized for his service to other hospital associations, to the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), and for his civic involvement. He was named Administrator of the Year in 2000 by the Arkansas Hospital Association. He received the ACHE Regent’s Award in 2001 and an ACHE Service Award in 2013. Leopard has served Rotary International as a club president and district assistant governor. He has served as the Wagoner Chamber of Commerce president and received the President’s Award from that organization in 2014. In 2017, he was named Citizen of the Year by the Wagoner Chamber of Commerce.   

Leopard began his health care career as a clinician and practiced respiratory care/department management for 15 years before his promotions into progressively higher levels of hospital management operations. He served as chief operating officer at Woodland Heights Medical Center in Lufkin, Texas, and as CEO at Medical Park Hospital in Hope, Ark.  

Leopard is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He received his undergraduate education at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and holds a Master of Science in Health Administration degree from California College for Health Sciences in San Diego. He also holds undergraduate degrees in respiratory care and health services management.

The Oklahoma Hospital Association’s Advocacy in Action Award was presented to Charles E. “Chuck” Skillings. Skillings serves as the president of SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital – Shawnee. He began his career at Shawnee Medical Center Hospital in 1977. Before his appointment to CEO at Shawnee Regional Hospital in January of 2000, he served as director of the emergency medical services, and later joined the administration of the hospital and worked in the area of medical staff development. Seven years prior to becoming CEO, he was appointed executive vice president/chief operating officer of the hospital.  

Skillings is currently serving as a member of the Oklahoma State Board of Health in a term expiring in 2027. He is also a member of the board of directors of the REACT EMS Authority and the Avedis Foundation. He has been actively involved in the Shawnee Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Foundation. He has also served on the Oklahoma State Board of Medical Licensure and Oklahoma Trauma Services Advisory Council.

Skillings served on the OHA board for 14 years beginning in 2001. He served as chairman of the board in 2012 and 2013. He has been very active in the advocacy activities of the association, working to advance important initiatives to strengthen the provision of health care in Oklahoma.  Skillings has served as chair of the OHA Council on Policy & Legislation. He also previously served on the OHA Council on Education and Committee on Auditing. In 2014, he received the OHA W. Cleveland Rodgers Distinguished Service Award.

Craig W. Jones, FACHE, recently retired president of the Oklahoma Hospital Association, received the OHA Award of Merit, presented to individuals for long-term commitment to the health care industry.

Jones retired as president of the OHA on Aug. 31 after more than 20 years of service. He had served as OHA president since November 1998. Prior to serving as president, he served as executive vice president of the Association, beginning in March of 1997.

Jones has more than 40 years’ experience in health administration. From 1985-1997, he was president and chief executive officer of Norman Regional Hospital (now Norman Regional Health System). Prior to this, Jones served for six years as the hospital’s associate administrator. He was also previously employed by Hillcrest Medical Center, Tulsa, following his receiving a Master of Health Administration degree (with Honors) from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. He is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives.

During his time at Norman Regional Hospital, Jones served on the OHA board of directors and as chairman of the board in 1991. In 1996, he received the OHA W. Cleveland Rodgers Distinguished Service Award.

Jones has served on or chaired numerous state, regional and national health care governing and advisory boards or councils associated with the American Hospital Association (AHA), The Joint Commission, the Oklahoma State Chamber, and is a former Regent of the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE). He recently completed a nine year term, the last two as chairman, of The Joint Commission’s board of commissioners. Additionally, he served as a member and chair of the AHA’s Committee of Commissioners to The Joint Commission board.  Locally he serves as a director for the Health Alliance for the Uninsured board in central Oklahoma and is a former trustee on the Oklahoma Health Information Exchange Trust.

Anja Du Toit received the David J. Falcone Award, presented each year to a health administration student for outstanding achievement. The award was renamed in 1996 in honor of the late Dr. Falcone, who served from 1992-1996 as professor and chair of the Department of Health Administration and Policy for the University of Oklahoma College of Public Health.

Du Toit is jointly a Masters in Health Administration candidate at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, College of Public Health, and a Juris Doctorate candidate at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. She will graduate in December 2018.

Du Toit has worked for the Oklahoma Health Care Authority and the United Nations Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. For her practicum during the summer of 2018, she worked with the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program in New York City. There she advised low-income and disabled New Yorkers in areas such as managed long-term care, administrative appeals, Medicaid and Medicare program eligibility, and estate planning.

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