Where Are They Now is a new series that brings updates of former Health Forward Board and The Community Action Committee (CAC) members.
Sister Therese Bangert was an inaugural member of the CAC. She was appointed in January 2004 and served through January 2008 as a member and then co-chair of the Review Committee.
What have you been doing since you left?
A number of the things I was doing when I served on CAC. I still do advocacy work for my community, the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth. In recent years, the majority of my energy has gone into issues that impact our immigrant sisters and brothers. I also have a long-standing commitment call to work with people who are incarcerated, so I have a jail ministry and I have served as a police chaplain in KCK since 1996. So … just being involved in my Sisters of Charity community and my KCK community in which I live.
I take time for visits to my brother’s farm in Nebraska; for my friends; I take time for a visit to the mountains every once in a while.
What are your memories of serving on the CAC?
We were the first CAC, so my memories were a lot of what it was like to start up the CAC. Those who served on the board would give us feedback about how things were progressing on the board. And then we were developing our own character and what they wanted of us. So it was a time for me of great learning, being part of a group of people who were willing to do that and put the time and effort into it.
In your opinion, what is the importance of the CAC?
The CAC has several functions. One part of the CAC’s function was to identify and put forth new board membership suggestions. That was no small task to identify people who would be really good fits and good servants on the Foundation board.
Then I was involved with the part of the CAC that did evaluations of the Foundation. Part of the CAC’s job is to be a lens to look at the Foundation and say, “How is the board and the Foundation? Are they progressing according to what was first set up as values and how is that all progressing and how are they doing?
Do you still follow Health Forward? In what capacity?
At this point, a lot through Jennifer Sykes and her communications. But once you’ve been a part of Health Forward, they have a tradition always inviting you back. They have two gatherings a year, one in the spring and one at Christmastime. I always try to be part of those because I respect the people I worked with and I enjoyed touching base with them.
When Health Forward has an educational opportunity that I’m free to be part of, I often attend those. They are always well worth my time.
What has impressed you most about Health Forward?
I continue to respect Steve Roling and his leadership, the team that he puts around him, and the values that he has brought to the Foundation.
One of the things I’ve appreciated is their growth in talking about advocacy and how important it is in the whole arena of health care.