Springfield, MO

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Newsmakers: Jan. 1-7, 2024

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Economic Development
Show Me Christian County hired Stevie Barfoot as marketing manager to lead internal and external communication strategies, as well as traditional and digital media. She’s worked the past five years in the medical industry handling marketing, web and design tasks, and has two years’ experience in creative roles in the textile industry.

Drury University appointed SRC Holdings Corp. CEO Jack Stack as interim dean of the Breech School of Business Administration, effective Jan. 1, for a period of six months, when the school plans to have a permanent dean in place before the fall semester. Stack, who will continue to lead SRC, succeeds Jeff Zimmerman, who is focusing on teaching and assisting with the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business reaccreditation process.

The Missouri State Board of Nursing issued grants to four higher education institutions in southwest Missouri for nursing education: Missouri State University, $532,944 for the West Plains campus and $394,772 for the main campus; Bolivar Technical College, $172,760; College of the Ozarks, $165,590; and Crowder College, $211,855.

USA Today readers selected Silver Dollar City’s An Old Time Christmas as the No. 1 theme park holiday event in its 10Best online poll. It’s the sixth year atop the list for SDC, which is operated by Herschend Family Entertainment Corp.; HFE had another property’s event on the list: No. 7 Smoky Mountain Christmas at Dollywood.

The Ozarks Lunkers Arena League football team signed Matt Rush to its first professional contract. He previously played collegiately for Missouri State University and semiprofessionally for the Queen City Insane Asylum.

Health Care
U.S. News & World Report named Mercy Hospital Springfield as a 2024 High Performing Hospital for Maternity Care. This is the highest award a hospital can earn for U.S. News’ Best Hospitals for Maternity Care. In the evaluation of some 680 hospitals nationwide, Mercy Hospital Springfield earned high marks for rarely scheduling deliveries earlier than recommended, minimizing avoidable C-sections and fewer than average newborn complications.

The American College of Cardiology named three area hospitals to its National Cardiovascular Data Registry for high standards of care for chest pain and heart attacks. Citizens Memorial Hospital, Cox Medical Center Branson and Mercy Hospital Springfield each earned the Platinum Performance Achievement Award for 2023, joining 262 hospitals nationwide and 16 in Missouri to receive the honor. Cox Medical Center South earned a Silver Performance Achievement Award.

Family nurse practitioner Kristin L. Waugh joined the medical staff at Citizens Memorial Hospital and the Pleasant Hope Family Medical Center. She has 12 years of clinical nursing experience and most recently worked at Harrisonville Family Medicine in Harrisonville. Waugh holds a bachelor’s in nursing and a master’s in family nurse practitioner from University of Central Missouri.

Community Foundation of the Ozarks Inc. granted $120,000 among seven nonprofits to improve the quality of life for underserved and underrepresented populations. The Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Grants were awarded to American Indian Center of Springfield, Imagine Technical Institute, Lincoln School Project, Missouri State University, Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence Inc., Ujima Language and Literacy, and Unity of Springfield.

Convoy of Hope ranked No. 35 on the America’s Top 100 Charities list released by Forbes. The organization is up from No. 43 in 2022, based on private donations reported in the most recent fiscal year.

Real Estate
Graddy Real Estate LLC appointed Kari Wyrsch as director of sales to lead a team of agents to set and implement strategies and enhance client experiences. She most recently served as lead buyer specialist for the Keller Williams-affiliated firm and earned her real estate license in 2007.


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