Denise McNitt, MS, RN
Denise McNitt MS RN NEA-BC is currently the Vice President of Patient Care Services at Alegent Health Creighton Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Denise has been an RN for over 30 years, receiving a bachelors in nursing from College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota and a Masters in Community Health Nursing from Arizona State University in 1993. Denise has been the VP of Patient Care Services at Mercy for 2 years. Prior to this she has over 20 years experience as Executive Director for Alegent Health at Home; managing all aspects of a full-service home care agency including hospice, private duty, home care, and home medical equipment services. Denise is passionate about end of life and has been past president of the Iowa Hospice Organization.
Emmet Tinley is a CPA and life long resident of Council Bluffs. His business career includes 25 years as Controller and CFO in banking and, for the past ten years, providing tax and accounting services. He is an ordained Deacon in the Diocese of Des Moines assigned to St. Patrick's Catholic Church where he is also a Business Manager. He has served on the board of a number of community organizations and is currently an active board member for VNA of the Midlands, Council Bluffs Community Health Center, and Hospice of Southwest Iowa.
As a registered nurse, Marie Knedler has held various clinical, educational and managerial positions at Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs. In 1996, Knedler was named COO of Alegent Health Mercy Hospital responsible for Mercy Hospital, Behavioral Health, Home Care Services and System Support Services. In 1999, Knedler was appointed to Vice President Southwest Iowa/Mercy Hospital Administrator. Today she is the COO for both Alegent Health Mercy Hospital in Council Bluffs and Alegent Health Bergan Mercy Medical Center in Omaha. Knedler currently serves on the Board of Directors for the AHA Regional Policy Board, Iowa Hospital Association, Community Memorial Hospital, Pottawattamie County Community Foundation, St. Patrick's Catholic Church, American/Peoples National Bank, CB Betterment Foundation, Council Bluffs Alliance, and Hospice of Southwest Iowa.
James Summerfelt, Board Chairman
James Summerfelt is in his sixth year as President and CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association. Nationally, Summerfelt is the Chair for the Visiting Nurse Associations of America Board of Directors, serving on the Policy Council and Finance Committee. Locally, Summerfelt serves on the Board of Directors for the Josie Harper Hospice House in Omaha, Partnerships in Aging, Live Well Omaha, the Policy Committee for the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands, and Hospice of Southwest Iowa.
Susan Tinley is an Associate Professor of Nursing at Creighton University. She obtained her undergraduate and masters degrees in nursing from Creighton and her PhD from the University of Utah. She has been certified in genetic counseling for 20 years. Her research has focused on spirituality in coping and spiritual care provided by nurses. She also has strong interests in hospice services and community health.
Anne Schoening, board secretary
Anne Schoening is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Creighton University College of Nursing. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Clarkson College and her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Her doctorate is from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Educational Studies, with a specialization in Higher Education Leadership. She currently teaches obstetrics for the undergraduate nursing program at Creighton and serves as the Faculty Development Coordinator for the College of Nursing. Anne’s interest in hospice began after two close family members received compassionate end of life care from hospice nurses.
Kelly Butts-Elston is the Associate Director of Connections Area Agency on Aging, where she also oversees the division of Community Engagement. Kelly has worked in the aging network for nearly 20 years, both in a residential facility coordinating activities and she has been with her current employer the Area Agency on Aging in southwest Iowa since early in 2003. Kelly was part of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging’s Leadership Institute in 2012, and she was the recipient of the Arlene Stigge Award given to honor a human services professional in the Council Bluffs community in 2010. Kelly and her husband Greg enjoy traveling, Husker sporting events, golfing and theater arts.
Chris Blum, board treasurer
Chris Blum is Market President at TS Bank for the Council Bluffs and Treynor markets. Her career in banking spans 26 years including positions as a FDIC bank examiner, staff accountant, loan review, credit analyst and commercial loan officer at various banks. Chris received a Bachelor of Science degree in finance and marketing from Northwest Missouri State University in 1990. She has been with TS Bank for 2 years, is a member of Council Bluffs Rotary and serves as Treasurer of the Mid-day Optimist Club.