St. Albans residents Robert “Bob” L. Foster, Jr. and his wife, Barbara, have pledged to name a patient
room in the new Boone Memorial Hospital in memory of their mothers; Fay Foster and Louise White.
Fay was a first grade teacher for 25 years.
“She particularly loved first grade because she felt that was a critical time for children and their intellectual development,” said Bob.
“She felt they gained a true love for learning in their first year.”
Fay was married to Bob Sr. for 60 years before losing her fight with cancer. She had four boys and nine grandchildren.
“The four sons were a burden she carried with grace and love,” said Bob.
She was very active in her church. Her passions included painting, quilting and gardening.
“She also loved cats,” said Bob. “She was always adopting strays.”
However, her greatest joy was family get-togethers.
“We celebrated everything and loved going because she was a great cook,” laughed Bob.
Barbara’s mother, Louise, was a school secretary for over 40 years in Bluefield and Gassaway. She was married to her husband Jack for 60 years.
“She was very involved in church and youth activities her entire life,” said Barbara.
“She helped with everything from fundraising ventures and plays to school and community events.”
Louise was a mother of three (two girls and a boy) and had three granddaughters. She also spent a number of years as a hospital volunteer at Bluefield Regional.
“We still have her hospital jacket,” said Barbara. “She continued her volunteer work while fighting cancer, which eventually took her life.”
According to Bob and Barbara, they felt naming a room in honor of their mothers in the new Boone Memorial Hospital was one way they could recognize and thank them for years of love and support.
Like Fay and Louise, Bob and Barbara been connected to their local community and continually give back. They have supported Boone Memorial Hospital, its patients and surrounding communities for over 30 years.
Bob has served as the Executive Director of Pharmacy Services at Boone Memorial Hospital since February of 1986. He and Barbara have been long time advocates of the new facility. The mission of Pharmacy Management is to demonstrate that rural area hospitals can afford to provide Quality Patient Care.
“My focus throughout my career and all my professional decisions has been based on the principles of what is best for the patient. I believe that the employees of BMH have focused on patient care and I wanted to help that continue in a modern facility,” said Bob.
“In addition, with so many communities having lost their hospitals, it will be a joy to see the town of Madison with such a nice health facility for Boone County,” said Barbara.
Bob has been actively involved in the planning process of the new pharmacy department in the new facility and his passion and excitement is evident.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to expand pharmacy services to include Disease State Management Programs (Diabetes, Asthma/COPD, etc). The possibility of attracting professionals in new service areas such as surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics, etc is very exciting as well.”
The couple shares their passion for helping others.
“Charitable giving has been important to Barbara and me since we have been together. We want to give back as much as possible.”
The couple will be married 45 years this May.
“We met in the Towers Dormitory at West Virginia University,” explained Barbara. “He was a sophomore who took advantage of an innocent freshman,” she laughed.
“Hey she was wearing short shorts and had very nice legs. What was I supposed to do,” joked Bob.
The couple married in 1971. They have two daughters; Robin and Julie.
Robin, 36 lives in Australia (has dual citizenship) and is a professional photographer, specializing in weddings, portraiture and advertising. She’s currently pursuing underwater photography. Robin has an undergraduate degree from Ohio University and a Master’s Degree in Fine Art Photography from Griffith University in Australia.
Julie, 33 has an undergraduate degree from West Virginia University and a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation from Columbia University. She lives in New York City and works for an architectural firm.
“She repels off skyscrapers as part of her job,” said Barbara. “I’m jealous of both of them,” she laughed.
Bob and Barbara also have a kitty, Fufi, who turned 21 years old last November.
“She is Bob’s office assistant,” joked Barbara.
Bob graduated from Dupont High School in 1968. He attended West Virginia University where he received a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Biology. He then received a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Pharmacy from Auburn University. Bob has also received an average of 22 hours of continuing education per year for 40 years.
In addition to his role as the Executive Director of Pharmacy Services at Boone Memorial Hospital, Bob is President of Pharmacy Management and Consulting Services, Inc. He was Director of Pharmacy Services at Kanawha Valley Memorial Hospital in WV from 1981-1986 and a staff Pharmacist at Charleston Area Medical Center (CAMC) General Division from 1977-1981.
Pharmacy Management and Consulting Services serves mental health group homes, works with law firms as investigators and expert witnesses and provides analysis and consultation to hospitals on how to utilize their pharmacy department to maximize the hospital’s bottom line and improve patient care.
Barbara graduated from Bluefield High School in 1969. She then attended West Virginia University, Auburn and WV College of Graduate Studies. In 1973 she received a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Education (K-9) and in 1978 a Master’s Degree in Reading Education (1-12).
“I taught several years until our first daughter was born,” said Barbara. “I began a private picture framing business at that time and still do occasional jobs. I also worked for St. Albans St. Andrew United Methodist Church as Youth Education Administrative Assistant for 5 years.”
Bob has received various awards. In 2000 and again in 2006 he was named ‘Preceptor of the Year’ from West Virginia University. In 2004 he received the ‘Outstanding Field Faculty Partner Award’ from WVRHEP (WV Rural Health Education Partnership). Over 200 student rotations have occurred at BMH under Bob as Preceptor with excellent participation and contributions from BMH Pharmacy staff. In 2010 he received the WV Rural Health Conference Governor’s Outstanding Rural Health Achievement Award.
In addition to charitable giving, the couple practices servitude.
Barbara is a member of the St. Albans Garden Club and Bob is a member of the Madison Rotary Club. Bob is a member of the WVSHP (WV Society of Health-System Pharmacists) and ASHP (American Society of Health-System Pharmacists). The couple attends Trinity United Methodist Church in Bluefield, WV.
The couple enjoys various hobbies in their spare time.
“I love gardening, yoga, walking and writing,” said Barbara.
“I also like to renovate old houses, although every time we do one I say ‘never again,’ she laughed.
Bob enjoys hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, skiing and watching sports.
“I greatly enjoyed coaching youth sports (soccer, basketball and softball) for 17 years.”
Bob and Barbara’s generous contribution to the new hospital while in turn paying tribute to their mothers displays the type of love they share for family and community.
“We are very excited for the new hospital,” said Barbara. “Plus I won’t have to share my kitchen table with Pharmacy hospital blue prints anymore,” she laughed.
The new Boone Memorial is scheduled to open this June.
To learn more about the BMH Capital Campaign or the new Boone Memorial Hospital please call Denver Allen, Campaign Director at 304-539-2242 or visit us on-line at bmh.org.