Starting as an orderly, the Chief Executive Officer of Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center has been in hospital work for most of his life.
CEO Dennis Franks said it is not normal for someone to be in that position as long as he has, 13 years, and he is the fourth CEO NMRMC has had. He said it says a lot to have that kind of stability.
Franks said people support NMRMC, and Chanute is one of the few growing rural communities.
He began his hospital career at Jane Phillips Medical Center in Bartlesville in the early 1970s. He joined the US Navy in 1973 as a hospital corpsman, becoming a paramedic and later a physician’s assistant.
After his first stint in the military, Franks entered pre-medical studies at Oklahoma State University, but switched to administration.
“I had sold so much of my blood, I was getting too anemic to study,” Franks joked.
He and his wife, Amy, were married in 1977 and he received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 1980. Four years later, he received an MBA from Oklahoma City University, and in 1993 a Masters in Hospital Administration from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo.
He joined the US Air Force, retiring in 2001 as a Lieutenant Colonel after 20 years.
During that time, Franks was executive officer to the Air Force Surgeon General. After retirement from the Air Force, he worked for two years as Chief Operations Officer in healthcare services for the Choctaw Nation, one of the largest Native American nations in Oklahoma.
Franks came to Chanute after serving as CEO of Pushmataha County Hospital in Antlers, Okla.
Franks has also worked at the state level and is chair of the Kansas Hospital Association. He has been a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives since 1999 and a KHA board member since 2011.
His other activities include serving as a board member on the Chanute Area Chamber of Commerce, board member of the Neosho County Community College Foundation from 2006 to 2015, member of Rotary Club, and board member of the Rotary District 6110 Medical Supplies Network in 2012-13.
Franks is a member of First Christian Church and a founder of the Neosho County Health Task Force. He is also a committee member of the Chanute Pathways to a Healthy Kansas, and in what spare time he has, he keeps in shape with golf, racquetball, aerobic and anaerobic activities four times a week.
He and his wife have a son, Justin, who works for the city of Chanute, two daughters, Ashley, who lives in Chicago, and Autumn, a nurse at NMRMC, and six grandchildren.