News & Initiatives

2020 Distinguished Service Award Recipient

We all benefit from a healthy community

In his 12 years of service to the Ashland Community Hospital Foundation, Ed Colson has come to appreciate the value of a healthy community in a totally new way. When fellow insurance agent and friend Tom Kennedy suggested he volunteer to serve on the board of directors, he couldn’t imagine why a multi-million dollar organization would need philanthropic support. “My limited understanding was that our community hospital, like any other, dealt with Medicare and insurance companies and that was it,” explains Colson. “In my first few months on the board, I came to understand how wrong I was and how truly unique our hospital is.”

Like many other dedicated board members and supporters, Ed Colson began to see the exceptional quality of care and innovative technology that set Asante Ashland Community Hospital apart from the rest. “Maintaining the standard of care our community has come to expect comes with expenses and investments that could never be covered by traditional sources of income,” says Colson. “If we care about high-quality health care, we have to be willing to support it.” 

Ed also points out the value of ensuring the success and longevity of the hospital as a strong economic engine for our community. “In addition to the high quality of care, the hospital is also a source for high paying jobs, supporting our community economically,” explains Colson. “Community support is essential if our goal is for this to continue.”

Ed’s roles as Treasurer, Vice President, President, and service on the Asset Management Committee, have given him the opportunity to thoroughly examine the importance of the Foundation in our community. “When I joined the board, our focus of support took the form of property management,” explains Colson. “Thanks to the foresight of our founding board members, we acquired properties in close proximity to the hospital, earning income in support of our mission.” As Ed points out, the organization has evolved with a focus more heavily reliant on philanthropic support. “Our assets still provide a strong base of support for our Foundation,” says Ed. “But community support is essential if we want to be even more effective.” With the expansion of our mission to include support of community health initiatives Ed believes a strong, resilient community is the ultimate goal. “If we are a healthier community as a whole, we all benefit.”

Ed was chosen as this year’s Distinguished Service Award (DSA) honoree in recognition of his years of dedicated, effective leadership. 2019 DSA honoree and former board member Joy Dobson Way believes Ed was the ideal person to guide the Foundation through the transition it faced last year. “Ed’s comprehensive knowledge of Foundation operations, excellent communication skills, ability to listen, and commitment to the community were all clearly evident,” says Joy. “He helped facilitate major organizational change with huge success.” Congratulations to Ed Colson, 2020 Distinguished Service Award recipient.

Prior Distinguished Service Award Recipients