Open Accessibility Menu

Sign up for Live Healthy eNewsletter here.

Hospital Foundation has a new director

  • Category: Community, Announcement
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Deb Sutton, Sweetwater Memorial Marketing Director
Hospital Foundation has a new director

Board welcomes Kayla Mannikko

Empowered individuals can transform communities, said Kayla Mannikko, the new Executive Director of the Memorial Hospital Foundation.

In the nonprofit world, one has to acknowledge the power that individuals have, she explained.

“Making a difference in the community that I live and raise my two children in is what helps motivate me to continue with my impact through local nonprofits,” said Mannikko, who most recently worked as the development director for YWCA Sweetwater County. “I enjoy working closely with a team that truly wants to make a difference to better Sweetwater County. I volunteer on the Wyoming Community Foundation Board and am the vendor chair for International Day, but you’ll see me supporting and helping out with multiple nonprofit events throughout the county.”

“Everyone makes an impact on this earth. If I can be successful in the impact at MHSC, then it will also be making an impact on my friends, family, neighbors, and community members,” she said.

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County CEO Irene Richardson said she’s looking forward to the impact Mannikko will have on local healthcare.

“We are excited to welcome Kayla to our hospital. She is passionate about philanthropy and working with donors and giving back to the community.” Richardson said. “I’m looking forward to working with Kayla to help advance healthcare in Sweetwater County.”

Foundation Focus

Mannikko is excited to work with the Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Directors and leadership to raise funds and awareness for furthering the availability and accessibility of quality healthcare in Sweetwater County.

“Implementing the Foundation’s vision, mission, and values while working closely with individual donors to build the Foundation is my immediate goal,” she said. “I plan to start working closely with the team to deliver on our mission of ‘promoting exceptional healthcare experiences through financial support of MHSC.’”

Justin Spicer, a Memorial Hospital Foundation Director, said Mannikko was a perfect fit for the Foundation.

“We had a wonderful group of highly qualified applicants, and we were pleased that Kayla rose to the top,” he said. “She has had extensive experience in Sweetwater County working in the nonprofit sector and her network is incredible. At this inflection point in the Foundation’s history, I have great faith that Kayla is the right leader for us at this time.”

Mannikko said she is encouraged by the everyday passion and commitment of not only the Board of Directors but the hospital employees.

“I look forward to contributing to the development of programs and technologies that benefit our hospital and the community we serve. I am excited to start working with individuals to support something close to their hearts; like the hospital.”

Giving back through philanthropy creates positive change in the world, she said.

“Giving back benefits people by giving them a sense of purpose, improving their health, and increasing their happiness. And of course, there is always a tax benefit,” Mannikko said.

“With the Foundation, I will get to work with donors individually to build relationships and find out what their passion and areas of interest are. I also get to work with all the employees of the hospital family to determine the needs that will continue to help us provide quality and compassionate care to Sweetwater County,” she said.

At MHSC, Mannikko joins a leadership team of more than 35 professionals.

Healthcare Background

Mannikko graduated with a CNA license when she was a senior in high school, and began work immediately.

“I worked on a memory care unit in Greeley, Colo., while also doing home healthcare for young children who had brain injuries and needed care,” she said. “I then moved back to Rock Springs and worked at Young at Heart doing home healthcare.”

“I loved working as a CNA and I truly miss it,” she said. “Being able to work one on one and ensure that patients are taken care of was something I enjoyed and took pride in.”

She has always been intrigued with the healthcare field.

“My oldest brother was diagnosed with a rare cancer when he was just 14 years old,” she said. “In fact, it was the first case in the United States. Things got expensive and I grew up with my dad working multiple jobs to financially survive. We traveled to Denver for doctor visits and surgery. In October of 2023, my father was diagnosed with cancer.”

“Experiencing the difference both positive and negative that it has on a family and individual is telling in itself,” she said.

Working at YWCA, Mannikko focused on the overall picture of prevention and awareness. She was able to continue to make an impact and help victims of all forms of violence and help families with child care.

Mannikko said she is now “overwhelmed with excitement to take on the role of Foundation Director for MHSC.”