Two file for Boone Hospital board

Friday, January 13, 2012 | 5:11 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Bob Wagner, former CEO of the Columbia Insurance Group, and Darrell Foster, a First Ward Ambassador and former candidate for the Columbia City Council, each have filed as a candidate for the Boone Hospital Center Board of Trustees.

Wagner was appointed to the hospital board by the Boone County commissioners in 2010 after then-trustee Bob McDavid was elected mayor of Columbia. Wagner, who also serves as treasurer of the board, now is seeking a five-year term.

Wagner said he recently retired from the Columbia Insurance Group, where he had worked for 41 years.

“I don’t want to sit back at home and do nothing,” Wagner said. “I want to do something meaningful.”

Wagner cited his knowledge and skills in business and finance as a benefit to the board, which governs the county-owned hospital. He said he also believes his previous experience would help protect the interests of Boone County if and when there are any changes to the hospital lease agreement with BJC Healthcare of St. Louis.

Foster has a master's degree in public administration from Indiana University. He said he can bring administrative skills and transparency to the board and would try to represent the best interests of Boone County residents.

“I am not coming in trying to destroy the relationship,” Foster said of the lease agreement with BJC. “I just want the public to be aware of this relationship and have the information of the services provided by the hospital.”

Foster said he would like to hold workshops to help voters become more aware of hospital operations.

“We need someone to be transparent with the public money for the hospital,” Foster said. “The citizens should know how the money is being spent in the hospital.”

Foster said he can also bring in diversity and inclusiveness to the board.

“Red, yellow, black and white. Male and female,” he said.

Foster is a former executive director of the Minority Contractors Alliance and has experience dealing with involving discrimination and justice.

“I am not a spokesman of only African-Americans,” he said. “I am a grassroot.”

The deadline to file as a candidate for the board of trustees is 5 p.m. Tuesday. The election is April 3.

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