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Former Missouri Speaker Elijah Haahr named Noble Health Foundation executive director

Posted on Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 10:05 pm

Former Missouri Speaker of the House Elijah Haahr named executive director of the new Noble Health Foundation.

Elijah Haahr, the former speaker of the Missouri House, has been appointed by Noble Health Corp. to lead its newly formed Noble Health Foundation. Haahr was elected to the Missouri House of Representatives in 2012 and became the youngest House Speaker in the nation during his final term, which ended in December 2020.

Haahr will assume the role of executive director with Noble Health Foundation effective immediately. The mission of Noble Health Foundation is to support the development, training, education, and piloting of healthcare solutions for those living in rural communities.

One-hundred and thirty-six rural hospitals have closed since 2010, and today, one in four rural hospitals are at risk of closing. And while COVID-19 pandemic and Public Health Emergency stimulus programs poured money into some, Noble says it served only to mask their distressed financial condition.

“We are very happy to welcome Elijah to the Noble Health team,” said Don Peterson, executive chair of Noble Health. “As an accomplished attorney and public policy professional, we believe Elijah will have a substantial and positive impact on the communities in which Noble operates.”

Elijah Haahr, second from the left, speaks with Graeme Goodwin, Audrain Ambulance District administrator; Austin Miller, track coach at Mexico Public Schools; Don Peterson, executive director of Noble Health Corp., and many others at a reception introducing Haahr as the executive director of the newly formed Noble Health Foundation on Tuesday, May 25.

“I grew up on a farm and spent eight years in the legislature trying to improve and protect rural Missouri. Having the chance to lead a foundation that is solely focused on improving rural healthcare is an incredible opportunity,” said Haahr.

Haahr practiced law for Kutak Rock in their Springfield office as a member of the firm’s Products Liability division. He has tried cases in state and federal court and argued before the Southern District Court of Appeals. For the last three consecutive years, he has been named a “Rising Star” by Super Lawyers Magazine.

He and his family have volunteered with various organizations, including CASA, Springfield Victory Mission for the Homeless, and the Adopt a Street Program. Haahr lives in Springfield with his four children: Jackson, Regan, Scarlett and Alexandra.

Noble Health’s mission is to provide high-quality medical care that addresses the needs of the communities they serve. Headquartered in Kansas City, it owns and operates rural acute hospitals and clinics in Audrain and Callaway counties.