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Meet Crittenton Chairman of the Board and Patient: Russ Shelton

russ sheltonRuss Shelton is a longtime supporter of the Rochester community and Crittenton Hospital Medical Center. In fact, he has been with Crittenton from the very beginning, attending the groundbreaking ceremony with his father in 1965. Since then, he has become an influential businessman and philanthropic volunteer in Rochester and has never stopped giving to the community.

Community Involvement Runs in the Family

Shelton may very well have inherited his community values from his parents; his father served on the board with Crittenton Hospital. “I didn’t really know what my father did, but my family was always about community involvement,” said Shelton of growing up watching his father’s work with Crittenton. Shelton continued that his mother was the first co-chair for the Gourmet Gala, which is still the major fundraising event of the year for the hospital.

As the Rochester community continued to grow, Shelton saw a need for more advanced cardiac medical services in the area. “Unfortunately, I needed some medical procedures myself, though at the time Crittenton was not fully equipped to handle those needs, so I had to go somewhere else.”

A Heartfelt Inspiration

It was this experience that inspired Shelton to pursue a heart center at Crittenton Hospital. “We had never had a heart center,” explained Shelton, “and you realize from a service perspective how good Crittenton is when you have to go elsewhere.” It was that understanding, the strong peace of mind he experienced when in the care of his Crittenton doctors, that he knew needed to be mirrored by the technical resources that the hospital required to take cardiac services to the next level.

It was in large thanks to Shelton’s tireless work with Crittenton’s president and a sizable donation that resulted in opening the doors at the Shelton Heart Center at Crittenton Hospital in 2005. “It is a good feeling to walk into the hospital and see Shelton Heart Center displayed and there’s no question that it’s filling an important need,” said Shelton. Some of the best parts of his involvement Shelton explained, are the interactions he’s had with those who have benefited from the center. “I can’t count the number of people who have thanked me for my work to bring about the center,” said Shelton. It wasn’t anything he expected, but the reward of impacting and bettering his community continues to inspire him to donate his time to the hospital.

“We’re all volunteers,” said Shelton of the board of trustees, where he is currently serving as the chairman of the board. “I’ve been on the board since 2003, and I’ve watched and seen a lot of change.” He adds that the partnership with Ascension and addition of Crittenton’s new President and CEO, Margaret Dimond, has him excited for the future impact of the hospital. “We are going to do great things,” he said.

The Best Kept Secret in Michigan

Looking ahead, Shelton continues to share his excitement about the opportunity to increase services for the community. “This is a unique community,” said Shelton of Rochester. “It’s a small town, and we still view ourselves as a community hospital, even with partnering with Ascension. People feel a part of the hospital.”

He continues to talk about the hospital’s services, listing the new state-of-the-art South Tower addition, as well as the birth center and the joint center as prime examples of the strong medical care and innovation happening at the hospital.

“There are a lot of stories to tell,” said Shelton, as both an advocate and patient. “Some people don’t know the best kept secret in Rochester Hills is this hospital. Crittenton has some of the best doctors, medical staff, and resources, and that’s what I want the community to know. We know you have choices, but we want you to come to Crittenton. “

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