The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN) announced its “4 Under 40” Hospital Leadership winners, including Ashlyn Housewright, Executive Director of Community Health & Wellness during their 20th Anniversary Annual Conference held November 28 and 29 at the I-Hotel and Conference Center, Champaign.

People posing on stage for a photo

Ashlyn Housewright (center) poses with Cynthia Stewart, Marketing Director at Memorial Hospital, Carthage, and Ted Rogalski, Administrator at Genesis Medical Center, Aledo and 2023 ICAHN Board President.

She is joined in this honor with Lindsey Culver, Director of Radiology, Lawrence County Memorial Hospital, Lawrenceville,; Jessica Diane Carter, Director of Nursing Services, Ferrell Hospital; and Colton Anderson, Director of Clinic Services, Hammond-Henry Hospital, Geneseo.

Housewright has been with Memorial Hospital, Carthage for 4 years as a full-time employee. She has a strong passion for educating people in her community on how to improve their health and pursue healthy lifestyles.
In response to the escalating diabetes rates, Housewright launched the KEY (Keep Encouraging Yourself) program, which is a community group geared toward diabetic education and screenings.

Housewright played an instrumental part in the implementation of a teaching kitchen for the community. This involved the construction of 4 kitchen stations equipped with the proper technology to teach viewers from home or in-person. As a result of this implementation, there have been many events that have been open to the community. One of the events included teaching cooking basics to third grade 4H students, and another focused on teaching individuals how to make 10 meals ready to be frozen and re-heated when needed. There has been a large demand from the local community to engage with and learn, utilizing this resource.

“Ashlyn portrays extraordinary personal leadership by engaging with her team in a positive manner and is willing to work side-by-side to get projects completed. She empowers her team to pursue innovative solutions and is seen by her peers as a go to person for collaboration,” said Ada Bair, CEO of Memorial Hospital, Carthage. “She knows how to lead teams by engaging all around the table, asking questions and recognizing others.”

Housewright’s initiative and mission to improve lifestyles has improved turnover rates and has led to the staffing of a highly qualified team of individuals in Memorial’s dietitian department. The Food and Nutrition Team cooks from scratch and focuses on healthier, yet tasty, options.

“The increase in cafe use and carry out meals comes from Ashlyn's desire to innovate and lead a team to grow and develop services that better meet the needs of staff and community,” said Bair.

Housewright also has played a large role in acquiring and revamping the local fitness center. FOCUS Fitness has seen an uptick in memberships and offerings thanks to Housewright’s leadership and hard work.

Housewright leads Organizational Improvement Teams and served as a Super Coach to individuals serving on Memorial Hospital’s Service Excellence Counsel.

ICAHN’s “4 Under 40” Hospital Leadership Award is open to new and emerging leaders aged 40 and under employed by an ICAHN member hospital or as a member of this hospital’s board for at least two years with a strong record of innovation and outstanding performance.

Located in Princeton, IL, ICAHN is a network of 59 small, rural hospitals dedicated to strengthening the operations of its member hospitals through collaboration. The organization is composed of Illinois hospitals who have earned critical access hospital designation by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services and is recognized nationally for its work with rural healthcare, administering several state, federal, and private healthcare programs.