Chardel Hasting’s new position with the Southeast Kansas Multi-County Health Department is a homecoming of sorts.
Hastings previously worked 13 years as a nurse for the department, but left to assume other duties, most recently at the local hospital.
When word came of the administrator vacancy Hastings returned to her old stomping grounds to visit with employees.
“When I walked in the door it felt like I was coming home again,” she said. “It felt so right this is where I landed.”
On March 16, she took over the reins as administrator of SEKMCD whose headquarters is at 411 N. Washington. The agency serves four counties, Allen, Anderson, Bourbon and Woodson.
AS THE NEW administrator Hastings has begun to set goals. Her first duty was moving the Woodson County office to a new location, 120 W. Rutledge, in Yates Center. The office is a remodel of an existing building. The move was completed this week.
“I hope to rekindle previous relationships and utilize Thrive Allen County and become partners with them,” Hastings said of the local non-profit whose focus includes health and wellness.
Hastings said she believes in strength by numbers, and that fostering relationships will be to the benefit of all involved.
The health department was begun in 1971 and until about 15 years ago included Linn County. Up until last year its headquarters were at 221 S. Jefferson.
The department provides family planning, immunizations, child care licensing, physicals, women’s health, Healthy Start Home visits, blood draws, STD testing and breastfeeding information.
Its currently preparing to conduct physicals and immunizations for children who will begin kindergarten next fall.
HASTINGS said her new position is an answer to prayer and though it comes with probably more — and different — responsibilities, she’s looking forward to a more defined schedule that will allow time for her family.
Hastings, 57, has five grown children and nine grandchildren.
Nursing came naturally to Hastings, she said.
“I think it’s a part of my personality to care for people,” she said. “I grew into it and that desire to do it.”
Hastings graduated from Carl Albert State College, Poteau, Okla., in May of 1990 with a nursing degree. A native of Kincaid, she came back to the Iola area and was married in April 1991 to her husband Mark.
For several years she was a stay-at-home mom and worked part-time in the health department for evening clinics helping with family planning and immunizations.
In 1995 she took a full-time position at the Anderson County office for a year and a half after which she came to the Iola office replacing Wanda Davidson who retired. The SEK Multi-County Health Department was her employer until Sept. 2008 when she left to work as a nurse at The Family Physicians.
For the last five years she has worked for Allen County Regional Hospital in the obstetrics and gynecology department.
In her spare time she enjoys to garden and can. Hastings said she also likes to hike in Colorado at her family’s cabin.
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