Trustees are the critical connection between hospitals and the communities they serve. It is their mission to form and guide the hospital’s vision while representing the interests of the community.
In Waverly, Susan Vallem has proudly fulfilled that role in the local hospital for decades. “I enjoy seeing the interaction between the community and hospitals. I think that element is absolutely critical,” said Vallem, who is the current board chair for Waverly Health Center. “If we’re going to be a community that meets a lot of our people’s needs, we need good hospitals.”
One of the highlights of being a trustee for more than 30 years has been seeing the hospital grow and succeed, thanks in no small part to an engaged and caring staff. “I’m proud of our staff. They are dedicated. They are committed to caring for not only, again, individuals in the patients, but also in the community services that they provide. You have to have a happy staff, so we really are committed to excellent patient care, but excellent care of our staff. And they respond in kind.”
Vallem notes that the hospital brings more to the table then health care. “The hospital is one of the largest employers of the community,” she said. “(Hospitals) provide a lot of economic support and income as well.”
She believes high-quality health care that puts patients first is a trait shared by all Iowa hospitals. “It’s one of the things that impressed me moving here from another state is how well Iowa in general took care of its people,” Vallem said. “I believe that Iowans by and large do trust and support their hospitals.”
“It’s about quality of life, quality of health care and being an important partner in the community.”Share this story.