Crusader Community Health’s Eggers Earns National Recognition
By David Ruffin, Chair, Crusader Community Health Board of Directors
As seen in The Rockford Register Star, OPED column, Sunday, July 3, 2016
Gordon Eggers Jr., president and CEO of Crusader Community Health, will receive the Samuel U. Rogers Achievement Award, the nation’s highest Community Health Center award for excellence in clinical leadership from the National Association of Community Health Centers.
It’s no wonder Mr. Eggers is an award winner as two characteristics are immediately evident: the first is his sense of mission to ensure that the medically underserved portions of the world’s population have the opportunity to receive health care. The second is his insistence that all the services delivered to the clinic’s patient population be of the highest quality.
In addition to his medical career at Crusader, his earlier life was marked by creativity, energy and improvisation in circumstances that required them: in Papua, New Guinea, and Africa where he set up bush clinics and worked in conflict zones; in Kazakhstan, where he trained rural physicians, and in rural Colorado where he set up and ran a community health center in a small town farmhouse. Eggers has worked to get medicine to the hardest-to-reach patients and deepened his commitment to first-rate care for the underserved back home.
It also put him in good stead at Crusader Community Health, where Eggers spent 18 years seeing patients as a PA before becoming president and CEO in 2005. In 1998 he was promoted to the executive management group as vice president of Health Providers. He has worked hard to ensure that Crusader delivers medical care on par with the area’s top private providers.
As CEO, Eggers oversees the care of 48,000 patients, 22,336 of them children. And a health care system with 206,000 visits last year. He has established multiple innovative programs and implemented numerous initiatives to improve the quality and effectiveness of patient care. Under Egger’s leadership, Crusader Community Health has expanded to five clinic locations and is in the process of building a sixth location that will be opened in April 2017.
Eggers was honored as the American Academy of Physician Assistants Service to the Underserved Paragon Award in March 2007. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, Baylor College of Medicine in December 2007 and the President’s Award — Illinois Academy of Physicians Assistant in October 2007.
Samuel G. Miller, CPA, chief financial officer, also received national recognition for his leadership at Crusader Community Health. He was honored as the recipient of the 2015 Jeffrey T. Latman Leadership in Health Care Finance Award. The award honors professionals for their outstanding leadership and service to community health centers nationwide in the area of finance and whose work best exemplifies excellence, leadership and integrity in strengthening health center fiscal operations.
Mr. Miller joined Crusader in 2005 and has more than 28 years of experience in the field. He oversees all fiscal operations for Crusader and is a member of Crusader’s Executive Management Team. Under Mr. Miller’s leadership Crusader has grown to be a model Community Health Center that is financially stable. Together, Mr. Eggers and Mr. Miller have been recognized (out of 1,200 Community Health Centers) for being instrumental in Crusader becoming a dynamic and innovative health system.
Bruce Johnson, President of the Illinois Primary Health Care Association stated, “I congratulate Crusader’s executive management team. They have an excellent national and state reputation for making thoughtful community and patient care decisions”.
Crusader Community Health is a community-based, not-for-profit Illinois Corporation, whose mission is to serve the Rock River Valley area with quality, primary health care for people in need. Crusader Community Health established in 1972, has five locations and offers a sliding discount for covered services.