Retirement reception April 3
El Dorado – For more than 42 years, Tom McKibban, CRNA, MS, has cared for patients and their health as an anesthetist. All of those years have been spent at Susan B. Allen Memorial Hospital.
McKibban began his healthcare career at SBA on March 3, 1977 and for the first 26 years, two anesthetists covered the hospital 24/7. Then in 2003, a third anesthetist was added so McKibban could fulfill his new obligation as President of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists. After that, the group continued to expand and add more anesthetists as needed.
“In 2016 I split amicably with the group and started doing only pain management under my new company – Anesthesia and Pain Management Consultants,” McKibban explained.
But healthcare wasn’t McKibban’s first goal in life. He graduated high school with the desire to become a math teacher.
“Those were tumultuous times in education, and when I overheard a nurse at SBAMH talking about nurse anesthesia, I decided that sounded interesting,” he said. “The next day I went out to Butler and arranged my schedule to meet the prerequisites for my future.”
That decision turned into a lifelong career that has been fulfilling for McKibban.
“The versatility of anesthesia and pain management kept my career interesting, if hectic,” McKibban said. “Taking care of friends and neighbors has been rewarding. In a town this size, I saw the same people repeatedly over the course of years, which made the practice more personal and enjoyable.”
McKibban said it has been rewarding to help people he knew in the community in their time of need, whether it was making a labor patient more comfortable with an epidural or putting a surgical patient at ease prior to surgery.
“I enjoyed trying to figure out precisely which pain procedure was needed, and then evaluating the degree of success at a follow-up,” he said. “I also enjoyed interacting with colleagues in the healthcare community. Unlike a large, urban hospital, our providers and staff make up a family of sorts. For the same reason, I like living in a small community such as El Dorado.”
McKibban strongly believes in the importance of rural community hospitals and how vital it is for community members to support them when possible.
“El Dorado is fortunate to have good healthcare facilities and talented, dedicated local people to provide care in them,” he continued.
During the course of his career, McKibban has been involved in numerous organizations, including the SBA Foundation.
“During my time at the hospital, I enjoyed many years on the SBAMH Foundation Board and served as President of the Foundation from 2016 to 2018,” he said
His professional memberships have included: Kansas Association of Nurse Anesthetist, American Association of Nurse Anesthetist, American College of Surgeons – Affiliate Member and American Academy of Pain Management. He has held a variety positions on the Kansas Association of Nurse Anesthetist, American Association of Nurse Anesthetist, Council on Surgical and Perioperative Safety and Council on Recertification of Nurse Anesthetists. He also has served as a member of the USD 490 Board of Education; Butler Community College Foundation; Butler Community College Board of Trustees; American Red Cross – Bluestem Chapter; El Dorado Chamber of Commerce; El Dorado Inc., Bradford Memorial Library Board and Recycling Committee, as well as serving as the Mayor of El Dorado.
Throughout his career, McKibban has given lectures on topics ranging from patient safety to trends in anesthesia practice and had several articles published.
“Tom has been a great asset to Susan B. Allen,” said Jim Kirkbride, SBA President and CEO. “We are fortunate he has spent his entire career here and benefited from his experience. He has been an influential member of our Medial Staff; a dedicated Board member/past President of the SBA Foundation; and represented the hospital well in many organizations over the years. We wish Tom the best in his retirement.”
When looking at retirement, McKibban just knew it was time, although he will still be doing some part-time work to keep his skills proficient.
In his retirement, he looks forward to spending more time with family and friends. He will be making impromptu visits to his children, who are located in Indiana, Chicago and Ireland, as well as a grandson in Colorado (in addition to two sons and one grandson in this area). He also wants to spend more time at their place in Naples, Fla., especially in the cold weather. He plans to travel a lot and to improve his fly fishing skills.
A retirement reception will be held for McKibban from 4 to 6 p.m. April 3 at the Wiedemann Health Building, located on the southwest corner of the hospital grounds. The public is invited to attend.