Kristy Estrem is no stranger to the residents of Berryville; she’s lived there much of her life and, as president of Mercy Hospital in that community, she has made numerous strides to assure better access to health care for Berryville and the surrounding communities. Now, as a re-elected board member of the Arkansas Hospital Association (AHA) Board of Directors, she’ll continue doing all that she can to make a difference.
“I’m proud to be a board member for such a wonderful advocate for hospitals and to serve as the northwest Arkansas delegate being charged with bringing forward the respective voices of all the hospital members in the Northwest District,” Kristy said. “It’s truly an honor to serve in this capacity.”
The AHA assists with legislative issues and networks with Medicare and Medicaid officials to establish programs and initiatives across the state to ensure hospitals’ long-term viability and patient care. Arkansas was one of the few states able to garner enough support to expand Medicaid to 140 percent of poverty level. “That probably wouldn’t have happened,” Kristy said, “had the Arkansas Hospital Association not unified our voice to the legislature.”
Kristy, a member of the AHA board since 2006, was re-elected to her second four-year term this fall at the board’s annual meeting. She’ll continue to represent the AHA Northwest District which is comprised of the hospitals in Benton, Carroll, Boone, Newton, Madison and Washington counties. In 2012, she was selected as the 2012 Grassroots Champion and recognized by the AHA for work throughout the state on legislative issues affecting health care. She has also been appointed to serve the past two years as the chairperson for the Legislative Committee.