Future of Marshalltown hospital discussed at Rotary

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO Joining the Rotarians in April are students Sarah Taylor, Nicholas Summers, Cole Wilson and Morgan Van Staalduine.

The April 18 Marshalltown Rotary meeting held at Elmwood Country Club opened with prayer and Pledge of Allegiance led by Nancy Steveson. An overflow crowd was on hand for the luncheon. Introducing guests were Tami Lichtenberg, Val Ruff, Mike Schlesinger and Robert Moore.

Dawnett Willis and Bill Fitzgerald also introduced numerous guests from the Hospital and Hospital Foundation. Jerry Stephens encouraged everyone to consider purchasing flower baskets associated with the Marshalltown Community College Foundation fundraiser. Fitzgerald reminded all to be thinking of guests to invite to the Rotary social at the Paul and Carrie Barr home immediately preceding the upcoming “18 Men Who Can Cook” event.

Jim Lowrance noted the long process of seeking out a partner for Central Iowa Health is coming to a close and it was with pleasure he introduced Pam Delagardelle, CEO and president of Unity Point Health in Waterloo. Unity Point operates in three states with 30,000 employees and 1,000 physicians.

Delagardelle opened by acknowledging the CIH board and team for their hard work over the last number of months and was anxious to illustrate why she and her team are excited about being in Marshalltown. She then shared some general health care trends that include consolidation and centralization. Increasing the quality care while decreasing the cost of that care is a reality they are challenged with. The 10-county Waterloo region is similar demographically to make Unity Point well suited to support Marshalltown. Her slides showed some of the facilities in the region that include their own college (Allen College) to help supply nursing demand. Delagardelle shared some performance targets for 2017 and 2020. She wrapped up her vision of the path going forward by asking that the Marshalltown area community hold her and her leadership team accountable in addressing health care needs and improving public health. She also asked for collaboration. She is looking forward to introducing a sense of calm within staff and a stability of financial operations.

The Marshalltown Rotary Club was established in 1915 and has had a tradition of service to the community. Of the over 35,000 clubs in existence, we were the 185th club chartered.