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Alumni Spotlight on Leo Haggarty

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Director, Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District
BETA Council Member, BETA Healthcare Group

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In business—and in life—you may be fortunate to know a man like Leo Haggarty. He’s the person who takes the lead, who asks the tough questions, who questions the status quo, who volunteers to tackle what needs to be done (and does it).

Not surprisingly, Leo has brought unequivocal passion to the workplace. His career in insurance serving different markets throughout Southern California spanned 60+ years. On the healthcare front, he joined the Pioneers Memorial Healthcare District (PMHD) board in 1984, followed by the ACHD board in 1986, which he chaired for four years. Brim Healthcare, the management oversight organization for PMHD, recognized him for his service and dedication with its National Trustee of the Year award. He has also been recognized by ACHD and CHA for his commitment and contributions. In 2008 the PMH Foundation honored his dedicated service with the Margaret Award. His leadership in healthcare continues strong, with 20+ years of service on BETA Healthcare Group’s (BETA) governing board, the BETA Council.

In the BETA boardroom and beyond, Leo challenges all to think wisely and act compassionately—and to bring our all to every challenge and opportunity we encounter. From the start, he’s encouraged BETA leadership to think like an insurance company—to marry a business mindset with compassionate, community-driven care. He was part of the team that explored and then implemented BETA’s experience rating approach, replacing the one rate for all system that many non-profit insurance programs utilized.

“The BETA Council is a unique leadership entity. Every member has a voice—an equal voice—at the table. Whether you represent a small, rural hospital or a 1,000-bed urban facility, your ideas and perspectives matter. That’s an uncommon approach to addressing the increasingly complex issues associated with healthcare coverage,” noted Leo.

In life (like business), Leo tackles everything he does with drive, passion and gusto. Stricken with polio in his teens, he was determined not to have illness or a handicap define his life or limit his adventures. Golf, cooking, farming, 4-H (and more!), while Leo’s passions and pursuits were varied, they always involved friends and family (including his wife of 70 years, Jeannette, 6 daughters, 15 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren). Even off-road racing was part of his mix in his early years—a nod to his competitive drive and thrill of speed.

The homespun wisdom Leo uses when evaluating decisions that impact PMHD, BETA and other organizations—if it is good for my family, it is good for the community. He’s living proof that common sense and a strong commitment to community are rare treasures.

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