Jay Gentry photograph
Jay Gentry

Texas County Memorial Hospital’s Healthcare Foundation Coordinator of Projects and Foundation, Jay Gentry officially said goodbye to his TCMH family at the end of April, after spending over 17 years of his career serving the hospital and the community through his leadership at TCMH. 

In 2005, Gentry began working at TCMH as the newly founded healthcare foundation director. The foundation had just received its IRS 501C-3 non-profit status, and Gentry started at ground zero with the foundation and the grant writing and fundraising. 

“The fact that the healthcare foundation had just been established when I was hired makes me even prouder about the work that has been accomplished over the years,” Gentry said. “The sky was the opportunity before me, and I decided to strive for it.”

Jay noted he obtained funding for several of the building projects at TCMH.  These included the 59,000 square-foot core expansion and renovation of the main hospital building, the Mountain Grove Clinic, the Jayson Gentry FEMA Safe Room, the new surgery center from the shell construction earlier to the completion of the infill coming later this year, and the new upcoming Licking Family Clinic. 

The TCMH clinic at Mountain Grove.

According to Gentry, TCMH was the first hospital in the State of Missouri to ever receive FEMA grant funding for a new tornado safe room.  The hospital also became the first to receive a CBDG grant to help with the safe room construction.  In addition, The Missouri Development Finance Board provided tax credits to help TCMH raise funds for the safe room building project.  Gentry remarked that this was another first by the Missouri Development Finance Board to assist a hospital with a building project. 

“I was able to help initiate $6,848,715 in total grant funds being awarded to the hospital over my tenure,” Gentry said. “Additionally, I secured $19,794,383 in additional funds for the hospital through USDA low-interest loans and creating a community improvement district (CID) to help with specific projects. 

Gentry explained the total included the $18 million loan for the core expansion project, a $710,000 loan to help construct the Mountain Grove Clinic and Ambulance base, and a $346,005 loan for electronic medical records in the clinics, and CID tax-generated revenue for the new surgery center. 

The Jayson Gentry Community Safe Room on the TCMH campus.

The healthcare foundation was able to raise $4,276,914 in fundraising dollars with Gentry’s support from the beginning of his career at TCMH through 2020. The last couple of years of Gentry’s tenure shifted over to only grant-related work as he moved into a semi-retired part-time role as the foundation’s coordinator of projects.

“Jay was able to secure nearly $31 million as an overall impact for TCMH through grants, loan funds, dollars raised, and tax revenue,” Linda Pamperien, chief financial officer said.  “These funds have significantly impacted TCMH and the health and well-being of our community.”

“It has been an honor to work with Jay for the past 17 years. He is a man of integrity and has a great love for TCMH.  He has always been extremely passionate about his job and continuously amazed us with his creativity,” Pamperien said. “I am not sure that TCMH would be here today if not for Jay and the enormous amount of funding that he brought to our hospital.”

Pamperien remarked that Gentry has forever changed the footprint of TCMH with the funding that he obtained for many of the building projects.

“One of the things that were very attractive when I was considering coming to TCMH was the updated facilities and equipment,” Stace Holland, chief executive officer said. “I quickly learned that Jay was responsible for securing the funding through the Healthcare Foundation to make it happen and I have much respect and appreciation for him and his achievements.”

“As the first foundation director, I am proud to have accomplished many projects with a lot of support,” Gentry said. “The key is about building relationships with others who care about the hospital. They put their trust in you, and you treat people right and build integrity.”

Gentry mentioned that he recently received the following message from a community member that meant a lot to him, was very humbling, and pretty much summed up his tenure at TCMH.

“Thank you so much for your leadership and dedication to the hospital and community. Some people just have a job. You truly had a mission and a passion for improving everything that you touched.”

Gentry shared that he is forever grateful for the support that he received from the TCMH Board of Trustees, TCMH Administration including current CEO, Stace Holland, and previous administrator, Wes Murray, his dedicated co-workers, and members of the community. He said it would have been very difficult to accomplish so many things and help move the hospital forward without their terrific support.

“It has been an honor and pleasure to serve the hospital and community over the last 17 ½ years,” Gentry said.

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