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December 15 marks a bittersweet day at The Health Collaborative. Our Director of Grant Accounting, Bob Coogan, has announced his retirement after more than seven years with the organization and Friday is his last day in the office. While we’re all very happy for him and wish him nothing but the best in all of his post-retirement adventures to come, we hate to see him leave – he will be sorely missed.

Just what is it about Bob that we’ll miss so much? Read on for messages from THC leadership and staff about what makes him so special, and why we’re sad to see him go.

Bob Coogan 2017

Keith Hepp, Chief Financial Officer and SVP Business Development:

Bob joined us pre-merge to manage the government compliance process for HealthBridge, which is incredibly complex. We never had large government contracts before securing the Regional Extension Center* contract, so Bob had to create very complex compliance processes from scratch. Through Bob’s leadership, we have had clean reports from the Feds since the beginning.

Bob was my boss’s boss’s boss at Cincinnati Bell back in the 1980’s. He called me to let me know he was retiring from Cincinnati Bell the week we learned we had been awarded the Regional Extension Center contract, and asked if I knew of any opportunities because he wanted to continue working until retirement.  Based on my past experience with Bob’s strong skills as a senior executive at Cincinnati Bell, I hired him on the spot – one of my best decisions since joining HealthBridge 20 years ago (OK my only good decision). Our organization has been incredibly lucky to have someone of Bob’s caliber working with us. Bob and I are also discussing some consulting activities in 2018 so we may see Bob around occasionally after he retires.

*A Regional Extension Center (REC) is an organization that has received funding under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) to assist health care providers with the selection and implementation of electronic health record (EHR) technology. Source.

Tonda Francis, VP, Regional Coordination and Clinical Initiatives:

I’ve enjoyed working with Bob for the last several years.  He is someone that shares the pain in working with the State grant system. He is so very calming and patient. We’ve developed policies together on the fly, entertained auditors for the State for multi-day visits, and made it through successful annual A-133 audits. Bob will be missed. Enjoy your retirement, Bob – it’s well deserved.

Claudia Allen, General Counsel and Privacy Officer:

Bob and I started work at HealthBridge at the same time, over seven years ago. We have always shared a love of sports, even though we have a friendly XU and UD rivalry going. But our mutual favorite sport is soccer and we have always been united in celebrating and mourning the ups and downs of the US National Team in Olympic and World Cup quests and most recently, those of FC Cincinnati. Did you know Bob was still playing soccer at 60? I will sorely miss hearing Bob’s views and sharing his enthusiasm for his teams.

Shannan Schmitt, Director, Development & Communications:

Bob is light! You can’t help but feel happy and energized in his presence. Also I’m a financial nightmare – clearly his patience knows no bounds! I will miss him so.

Becca Cochran, Manager, External Relations

There has never been in a day, in three years, where upon seeing Bob at the office he didn’t say, “Becca, how are you?” in the kindest, most sincere way. I hope, years from now, at my own retirement (if that’s still a thing) – I’ll have imparted the same warm memories that Bob has consistently provided our THC team.

Amy Goetz, Communications Manager:

You can tell by looking at the photo gallery that Bob isn’t one to miss a group photo – which is an indication of his enthusiasm for getting involved! Any time there is a blood drive, awareness day, fun office activity, or other group event, we can count on Bob to be there. Despite his fondness for “Grinch” attire during the holidays, Bob is gracious, patient, funny, and always generous with his smiles. His kindness is legendary and he never misses an opportunity to ask “how the heck are ya” – and not just to be polite, he really cares about your answer.

I’ll also miss Bob’s quirky sense of humor: he and the accounting team brought me a LOT of laughs back when we sat near one another in the old Hyde Park office! Who knew accountants were so darn funny?

Emily Kimball, Administrative Assistant & Meeting Space Associate:

Bob has always played along with my silliness! Such as: When I sing the Beach Boys tune “Barbara Ann” to greet him (starting with the “Ba-ba-ba” part…), he chimes in singing “Emily” to the tune of “Valleri” by the Monkees. Other things I love about Bob:

  • He always laughed at my bad punny and cheesy jokes with me.
  • He always walked to the bank looking very dapper.
  • He would always check in with me to get his star sticker, to prove he walked for the THC walking challenge… as if he were untrustworthy or something! Haha!
  • He often participated in the Culture Club shenanigans.
  • He never complained, always good-natured.

Marie Ritter, Director, Financial Reporting and Sandy Street, Accounting Clerk:

The Top Ten Things Sandy and Marie will miss about Bob:

10. Ran for trustee twice – knowing he would lose but trying to shake up the establishment
9. Arrives at the office before the sun is up
8. Has yet to perfect his excel spreadsheet skills
7. Can be heard saying “in my little pea brain” pretty often
6. Calls Keith “Boss”
5. Replaces the water jugs in the C-suite water cooler without complaining
4. Is always in audit mode
3. Eats the smallest lunches known to mankind
2. Will walk to the bank in almost any weather
1. When in a group setting, if Bob is mentioned, it is guaranteed that someone will say “I love Bob!” And why not? He is the kindest, smartest, most humble and most considerate person we have ever had the privilege of working with.

We love Bob! What more can we say? Join us in congratulating Bob on his years of service to The Health Collaborative. We wish him many happy years of retirement to come.

Click or tap the photo gallery below to view full-size images.

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