Saturday, August 10, 2019

Cheerful Heart Board of Directors 2019

Marshall Bjork (top left) and Chip Kurzenbaum (bottom left) have served on the Cheerful Heart Board of Directors for 17 years. Their dedication, hard work and support helped build and sustain Cheerful Heart, Inc. We say THANK YOU and good luck to Marshall and Chip as we welcome three new members. 

Leah Emerson, Sarah Teaff and Rich Forbis have joined the Cheerful Heart Board of Directors. They join current board members Jeanne Doepke,  Valerie Lindstrom, Barbara Morin and Teri Warford. 

Leah has deep roots in Ronan as an employee of St. Luke Community Hospital for the past 45 years!  The first 19 years as a charge nurse, 25 years as the Nursing Director and since December, 2017, in a part-time capacity mostly teaching classes.  Leah has a home-based quilting  business and stays busy being involved in the activities of five grandchildren.

In Leah’s words: “As a nurse, of course, I have cared for countless individuals and their families who have battled cancer.  Like so many others I have also been personally impacted when cancer has touched many of the ones I love the most.  My youngest sister was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer at the age of 25 and I walked beside her for the next nearly 13 years as she underwent surgery, chemo-therapy and a stem cell transplant.  She died at the age of 37.  A cousin I was close to suffered with and died from pancreatic cancer.  My mom was        diagnosed with ductal breast cancer and was thankfully able to be fully treated with a mastectomy.  Most recently my husband and life partner of 45 years was diagnosed with lung cancer two weeks after my retirement from my full time position at the hospital.  His disease advanced very quickly and he died in less than two months.

Sarah Teaff is the Chief Operating Officer at St. Luke Community Healthcare in Ronan.  Sarah served as the Associate Administrator for a Critical Access Hospital in Sonora, Texas, before moving to Ronan two and a half years ago.  Sarah is married to husband, Robert, and they have two children; Aiden is a senior in high school and Carlynn, a freshman.

In Sarah’s words: “Cancer has been in my life as long as I can remember. My maternal grandmother died of liver cancer  in 1988. Six months later my paternal grandmother died of colon cancer. My father was diagnosed with colorectal cancer at the age of 55; he died at the age of 63.

Rich Forbis was born and raised in Western Montana. He attended the University of Montana, receiving a B.A. in Radio and Television. Rich moved to Polson in 1986. He worked for Anderson Radio Broadcasting until 2015. He currently is the Community Outreach Coordinator and Public Relations Director at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center. Rich is the tournament director for the Flathead Lake 3-on-3 basketball tournament held on the streets of downtown Polson each July. Rich has served on the Polson Chamber of Commerce board on three separate occasions.

" Seeing what Cheerful Heart does every Tuesday during Oncology day at St. Joe's is very touching. From greeting cancer patients, to making sure they have items to eat or puzzles for families and friends to work while waiting, is truly a blessing."

The current Cheerful Heart                                  Rich Forbis                                     Sarah Teaff
Board of Directors  is pictured 
above. From front left: Barbara 
Morin, Volunteer Coordinator 
and Leah Emerson, new board 
member. Back from left Valerie 
Lindstrom, Jeanne Doepke and 
Teri Warford, board chair.  

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