A member of both the Reid Foundation board and Reid Health governing board, Ford has been given the opportunity to see health care from several perspectives.
“I wear a hat as a potential customer and look at the care we provide from a personal standpoint.” Before his retirement as plant manager at Purina Mills, he also had the perspective of a community employer.
“Health care is a major budget item in most companies and board members should be sensitive to that.” But in his role as board member, he also has had to examine budgets, capital expenditures and make sure that the decisions were good decisions for Reid as well as the community.
Reid’s decision to build a new hospital required him to wear all those hats. “People don’t want to travel outside of their community to get health care,” Ford said, “and we want to keep our rates low and still provide the highest rate of quality.”
Reid President Craig Kinyon said, “Jon is an outstanding board member. He thinks with a wonderful blend of his head, heart and faith.”
Since retiring, volunteering has become somewhat of a second career – one he takes very seriously. “People need to have a passion for what they do, whether they are a truck driver, an assembly line worker or a health care provider,” Ford said. “When you don’t have passion, a job is just a job and the results will show it.
“At Reid, passion comes out in different ways all the time. I have seen this as family members received treatment, and I have seen it when people go out of their way to walk someone to their destination. People at Reid go above and beyond.”
Ford’s passion for Reid is perhaps only surpassed by his love of family and his strong faith. He and his wife, Judy, preside over a family of five children, and 12 grandchildren, who are scattered from South Carolina, to Pennsylvania, Indiana, Montana and Alaska. The Fords’ other family is their church – Christ Presbyterian Church – where Jon is an elder.
Because his career took the Fords all over the country, their children grew up in different areas, and some settled in those spots. “Our children all like each other, and we make a concentrated effort to get the entire family together at least every two years.” Because four of the five children worked at Glacier National Park in their college years, that has been a favorite gathering spot.