Six people have been chosen by the Boone Hospital Board of Trustees to join them on the new Boone Health Governing Board.

The six appointees and five elected trustees will be responsible for the operations of the county-owned hospital, the Boone Medical Group and Boone Hospital Home Care & Hospice, according to a Wednesday news release.

Trustees Chairman Jerry Kennett said the votes of the trustees and the new board members will be equal.

“It just wasn’t fair to ask a community member to spend their time and provide their expertise but not have an equal voice,” Kennett said.

The new members are:

  • Charles Bondurant, a neurosurgeon who has been a member of the hospital’s staff for 26 years. He is a courtesy provider at University Hospital and Rusk Rehabilitation Center.
  • Dianne Lynch, president of Stephens College and an advocate of the college’s recent addition of a bachelor’s of science in nursing program.
  • Judy Starr, chief financial officer at the Central Bank of Boone County. She also is a treasurer for the Central Missouri Food Bank’s Board of Directors and co-chair of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce‘s Budget and Finance Committee.
  • Gary Thompson, president and chief executive officer for the Columbia Insurance Group. He has served on the boards of Heart of Missouri United Way, Job Point, the University of Missouri Alumni Association and the Chamber of Commerce. He is a member of Columbia’s Airport Advisory Board and the Trulaske College of Business Risk Management & Insurance Advisory Board.
  • Stacye Smith, a Columbia native and Rock Bridge High School graduate who is the vice president of human resources at Shelter Insurance.
  • William “Barry” Orscheln, chairman and chief executive officer of Orscheln Industries. He also is a member of the Missouri Conservation Commission and director of Citizens Bank & Trust.

In addition to Kennett, the elected trustees include Bob McDavid, Greg Steinhoff, Randy Morrow and Jan Beckett.

Kennett said each of the new members was chosen for their skills and expertise. “These six were at the top of the list.”

The formation of this governing body comes three months before the hospital system formally separated from BJC Health on April 1. The trustees decided after months of deliberation that reverting to individual management would be best for Boone Hospital Center’s future.

The contract with BJC was originally set to expire on Dec. 31 but was extended to April, given the trustees’ inability to fully forge a new system for managing the hospital, largely as a result of the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

BJC has managed the hospital for 30 years, but both parties agreed in 2019 that it was time to part ways. The trustees entered negotiations with University Hospital regarding a possible partnership but ended those talks in January 2018.

Lynch said she sees her new role as one that brings the concerns of the public to the attention of hospital management. She also said she is excited to showcase the strength of the hospital amid the numerous choices people have for care in mid-Missouri.

“I want to do whatever I can to be supportive of that choice, those opportunities and the quality of care that we have in our community and certainly at Boone,” Lynch said.

Tory Greer, CEO of Boone Health, will report directly to the newly formed board.

  • Molly Hart is an assistant city editor at the Missourian. She has previously reported on state government. She can be reached at

  • I've been a reporter and editor at Missouri community newspapers for 35 years and joined the Columbia Missourian in 2003. My emphasis at the Missourian is on local government and elections. You can reach me at or at 573-884-5366.

Recommended for you