"Dear Jack I first met you when I was 25 years old. I was young, naïve and I didn't know much about healthcare. You came to visit me in Senator Bond’s office in Washington DC asking for assistance in dealing with a federal bureaucracy. Frankly, I have to say I was intimidated; here is this big dude with a cowboy hat asking me to get a federal bureaucracy in line. I thought, heck yeah, I’m going to get this done or get my bottom kicked! Dick Bohrer, then the administrator of the Bureau of Primary Health Care, was in the office the next day. I told Dick he needed to bail me out! Problem was fixed on the spot. Dick and I still laugh about that meeting to this date.
"Then all of sudden I was back in Missouri working for the association that you played an instrumental role in creating. You helped bring together folks from urban and rural Missouri to solve real life problems impacting many Missourians, regardless of where they lived.
"Upon assuming this role, I learned you weren’t intimidating at all. You were a gentle soul, with a kind demeanor, a friendly laugh, and a big smile, and full of encouragement. I’m forever indebted to you for the great support you provided me.
"As a founding member of MPCA, you had a vision that today is a growing reality. Because of your foresight and leadership, over 500,000 Missourians today, from every county and corner of this great State, have access to critical health services. You led Big Springs Medical Association for over two decades, but the legacy you left was much bigger and will continue to grow. And, you gave us Alan Freeman, a star in community health in his own right. This is yet another great lesson you’ve taught us: be a mentor and bring in new leaders to make sure the Health Center community thrives well into the future.
"Rest in the peace of Christ, Jack, knowing that you had an enormous impact on the lives of many. You left behind a solid legacy. You will be missed.
"To your wife, Joyce, I know you are a strong woman. But if you have times of loneliness and pain, remember the good times, remember the impact both you and Jack have had on so many people, and remember you always have an extended family at MPCA.
"Sincerely, Joe Pierle"
Jack Clingan was one of the Founding Members the Missouri Primary Care Association in 1984