Retired Doctors Support SCC by Honoring a Former Colleague


Southeastern Community College’s Building the Dream capital campaign has received two more generous gifts – this time from two retired physicians, Dr. Jerry Jochims and his wife, Debbie, of West Burlington, and Dr. Koert Smith and his wife, Becky, of Arizona. Former business partners, the two orthopedic surgeons each agreed to pledge $25,000 to the campaign. Their gifts will be used to fund the new Health Professions Center on the West Burlington Campus.

SCC’s President, Dr. Michael Ash, says including these two gifts, the College has secured funding pledges of over $9.26 million of the campaign’s $12 million goal.

Dr. Ash adds, “The Jochims and Smiths have been supporters of many organizations throughout our community for years. We’re grateful for their continued support of the College.”

Becky Rump, campaign coordinator chair of the SCC Building the Dream Campaign, says that as a campaign volunteer, Dr. Jochims has been integral to its success.

“Jerry is a super star! He’s helped secure the highest dollar amount in pledges and gifts of all of our 70 volunteers to-date. He takes his role seriously and we’re all the better for it.”

The Building the Dream capital campaign will fund SCC’s construction initiative, including the new Health Professions Center and the Hall of Sciences on the West Burlington campus, and the Industrial Technologies Training Center on the Keokuk campus. With an estimated total project cost of $27 million, it is the largest, most comprehensive infrastructure investment undertaken by SCC since 1995.

Campaign chair Michael Shinn, a Burlington native and SCC alum, adds that equally impressive as their gifts is the way in which they want them recognized.

“Right from the start, they wanted to make their gift in honor of their dear friend and colleague Fran Bohlken, a person who made such an impact to the quality of care available to people throughout our region. It’s really inspiring.”

An SCC Nursing program alumna and 1999 inductee into the Iowa Emergency Medical Services Hall of Fame, Bohlken was instrumental in developing the Emergency Room and air evacuation programs at Burlington Medical Center, now Great River Medical Center.

Progress on the Health Professions Center is well under way. The facility is scheduled to be complete in July and will be fully operational and ready for students this fall.

For information about the Building the Dream campaign, contact campaign Becky Rump at (319) 208-5065 or

For campaign updates, project details and videos of our progress, visit

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