Locals: ‘Unity Point CEO offered a positive plan for CIH’

UnityPoint Health-Waterloo CEO and president Pamela Delagardelle did not speak about the future of Central Iowa Healthcare to a stadium full of Central Iowans yesterday.

Conversely, the former nurse and 30-year healthcare veteran spoke to approximately 125 Marshalltown Rotary Club members and guests at Elmwood Country Club about UPH-Waterloo’s plan to bring the 103-year old CIH into their fold.

And no doubt commentary from her presentation circulated throughout Marshalltown and surrounding communities like wildfire in the hours following.

Regardless of other opinions, Dr. Terry Briggs and Dean Elder, two local residents who have seen much transpire in business and health care over the decades, weighed in after Delagardelle’s presentation followed by a question and answer period.

Superlatives like “direct,” “efficient,” “energetic” and “forward thinking,” were used by the men to describe Delagardelle’s message.

“A very, very positive presentation,” said Briggs, a retired obstetrician who practiced from 1976-2003, and now serves on the CIH Foundation Board. “She offered a plan, and emphasized UPH-Waterloo would partner with CIH to have a patient-centered approach. She also made it clear about working with existing McFarland Clinic doctors and other healthcare providers.”

Briggs said he served on the CIH Board of Directors over a period of years, most recently from 2008-14.

“I know Pamela was extremely successful at Grundy County Memorial Hospital … and I liked her proposal the board of directors will be made up of locals.”

CIH filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Dec. 20.

The bankruptcy was mitigated by months of serious financial losses.

Through a serious of federal bankruptcy court hearings earlier this year, UPH-Waterloo won as the successful bidder of CIH assets.

On March 31, UPH-Waterloo and CIH submitted an asset purchase agreement to the bankruptcy court finalizing a plan to purchase substantially all CIH assets.

The assets include CIH’s acute care hospital, emergency department, four primary care clinics — Conrad, Marshalltown, State Center and Tama-Toledo — and the new CIH outpatient center across from Marshalltown Community College. Under the plan, healthcare will continue in Marshalltown and surrounding communities as CIH assets will become owned by UnityPoint Health and will be known as UPH-Marshalltown.

UPH-Waterloo and CIH have reported their wish to have all asset purchase agreement issues resolved by May 1.

Coldwell-Banker Realtor Dean Elder echoed Briggs’ comments.

“I was impressed with her specifics and energy,” said Elder, a long-time local businessman and community volunteer.

“She made good use of her time by highlighting key points and offered ideas on how to grow CIH’s market share.”