Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital is named after its founder, Mary Ranken Jordan. Through the 80 year history, women have comprised many seats on the board of directors. Recently, the hospital named its first female board chair, Betsy Prosperi, effective as of Feb 1st, 2022.
Prosperi has a long history of dedication to Ranken Jordan. At the invitation of her friend, Jeana Reisinger, she joined the Friends of Ranken Jordan in the late 1990s when the location was on Ladue road. Drawn to the mission and the children’s’ needs, Prosperi became deeply involved in the group and was later elected to be the President of the Friends board where she chaired and participated in numerous events to raise funds for the hospital. Because of Prosperi’s passion and commitment to Ranken Jordan, when her Friends board term ended, she was asked to join the board of directors of Ranken Jordan as a member at large in 2003.
Prosperi recalls the spectacular grand opening of the new Ranken Jordan Pediatric Rehabilitation Hospital on Dorsett road in 2004. “We had outgrown the old location. Our new state-of-the-art facility allowed us to treat sick kids so much better! It was so exciting to be a part of!” Prosperi loved the fact that the board room is situated on the second floor with a large picture window that overlooks the play area. During meetings, hearing the children reminded everyone to base decisions on the children first, which was central to Mary Ranken Jordan’s philosophy.
The new Ranken Jordan hospital was a fantastic success but the need was great to help more children. In 2018, an expansion opened that cost $35 million, adding 75,000 square feet. Prosperi said, “The expansion gave us the capability to help more children. Thank goodness there is a place like Ranken Jordan. We help kids like no one else can by incorporating our Beyond the Beside Care model. The patients are out of their beds, playing, and being active to heal better and faster!”
After 20 plus years of serving Ranken Jordan, Prosperi continues to be inspired by the hospital’s mission. She says, “I have stayed involved because Ranken Jordan is such an amazing place with an incredible, heartfelt staff. Miracles happen here all the time! I’m proud of the work we do and the quality of our employees and board.”
The love for Ranken Jordan has been a family affair for the Prosperis. Years ago her children, Jack, Katie and Ellie, were on the Junior board. Prosperi’s kids are now in their 20s where 2 of the 3 are eligible for and have joined the Ranken Jordan Young Professionals board. Her husband, John, has served on the board of directors for 3 terms.
Recognizing Betsy Prosperi’s passion and years of experience on many committees and the board, Walter Bazan Jr. serving as chair of the board, had asked Prosperi to serve as vice chair in 2019. Considering the role of chair, Prosperi said, “I’m so honored! As chair, I want to support the medical team and staff any way I can. We will continue to grow, adapt and prove the value of our Care Beyond the Bedside model.” Serving as chair is an essential part of Prosperi’s personal purpose in life. She says, “My gift is one of service and I have time at this stage of my life to give it my all—this is how I choose to serve.”
Nick Williamson will serve as Prosperi’s vice chair. Williamson is a partner at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, and has been a board member since 2012.