Artesian Valley Health System Hires Interim Chief Executive Officer

Meade, KS, – May 13, 2022  The Artesian Valley Health System (AVHS) Board of Directors has appointed Darcy Howard, of Oakley, Kansas, as Interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to lead the healthcare system through its transition.

Howard holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration in Accounting from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from the University of Nebraska in Kearney, Nebraska. She was born and raised in rural Southwest Kansas and now resides near Oakley, Kansas, with her husband, Ted Howard, who owns and operates Ted Howard Stockmanship, LLC.

“He travels the Midwest in the feedlot industry, training stockmen on identifying sick cattle and handling them in a low-stress manner.”

In addition, Howard has a twenty-three-year-old son named JD Draper. JD owns and operates a backgrounding feedyard at Oakley, Kansas.

“I followed him for many years through his rodeo endeavors. He was 2015, 2016, and 2017 Kansas High School Steer Wrestling Champion.”

She enjoys repurposing antiques and vintage items and appreciates old architecture. Howard recently purchased thirty acres near her dad’s ranch in Nebraska and is remodeling the farmhouse and barns on the property.

“In my personal life, I am the proudest of the relationships I have with my family (husband, son, dad, brother, and extended family). When my mom passed unexpectedly in 2018, it presented the opportunity to appreciate how important our family and friends are and the relationships we have with them.”

 We asked her what attracted her to Artesian Valley Health System, and she answered,

“During times of transition, it is common to lose sight of the goal or mission in an organization. After being on-site for a few days, it is easy to see that this dedicated team of people is committed to AVHS and their patients. I am excited to be part of the transition to the permanent leadership.”

Howard is an accomplished healthcare leader who helped move a facility from losing money to making money. She achieved that by implementing better processes and systems without eliminating any staff or cutting service lines. She is motivated by teamwork and collaboration and enjoys meeting and working with people.

“Seeing a project evolve from a basic idea to a completed project while building strong professional relationships along the way is very rewarding. I have learned something valuable from each person I have worked with in my life, and they have all helped to shape me professionally.

The mentors in her professional life have offered her honest feedback, support, and guidance in the healthcare arena and she has found that taking redirection from those she trusts and respects has a lasting impact on her.

She is very excited to partner with AVHS during the leadership transition. “

We are so fortunate to come from this great State of Kansas and serve the hardworking people that trust us with their healthcare needs.”

Artesian Valley Health System is a local non-profit organization in Meade, Kansas, and serves the healthcare needs of the surrounding communities through Meade District Hospital, Meade, Montezuma, Plains Rural Health Clinics, and Lone Tree Retirement Center. To learn more about Artesian Valley Health System (AVHS), visit our website at or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Leave a reply