MHP CEO Jay Christensen Received Alumni Award
The Buena Vista (BV) University National Alumni Association in Storm Lake, Ia., honored three individuals over their homecoming weekend for their service to the university and to society. Mahaska Health Partnership Chief Executive Officer Jay Christensen was one of the three honored.
Christensen, class of 1982, was the recipient of the John Fisher Alumni Award. The award was established in 1970 and named for BV’s 14th president. According to university officials, the outstanding service award recognizes a former student who possesses a consistent and persevering dedication to the qualities for which the university stands.
A native of Storm Lake, Christensen was an accounting major at BV and graduated magna cum laude. He was one of three senior accounting students in his class to pass the CPA exam on their first try. While attending BV, he worked for Christensen Landscaping, which was owned by his late father, Willard.
Following graduation, Christensen worked for accounting firms in Spencer and Storm Lake. In 1986, he joined Buena Vista County Hospital as chief financial officer and remained in that position until 1996 when he became CEO of Pocahontas Community Hospital. In 1999, he joined Mahaska Health Partnership as CEO. He completed his master’s degree in health administration at Des Moines University in 2001 and holds additional professional certifications in healthcare financial management and healthcare administration.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Christensen developed a passion for teaching when he taught accounting classes at BVU’s Storm Lake campus and at the Denison and Fort Dodge locations of BVU’s Graduate and Professional Studies Program. In 2004, he began teaching in DMU’s master’s degree program in healthcare administration. In 2007, he was named the faculty member of the year and has been on the DMU board of trustees since 2007. He also served on the board of the Iowa Hospital Association from 2002-2009, including a term as chair from 2007-2008.
He has been active in community and civic organizations throughout his career and since coming to Oskaloosa. He is a past Oskaloosa Area Chamber Development Group Board President and strong supporter of United Way and the YMCA of Mahaska County. He has also been a member of the Mahaska Community Development Group since its inception in 2006 and remains heavily involved with youth activities.
Christensen and his wife, Karla, have two children – Megan, a paramedic specialist working as a patient technician at a medical clinic in Sioux Falls, S.D., and Carter, who is in kindergarten – and two grandchildren. Karla, a social worker at MHP, earned her master’s degree in social work in 2005 at the University of Iowa.