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Altman-Brett-3Brett Altman
Clinical Operations Officer
Skiff Medical Center, Newton

Why did you choose this as your career?  After a 20-year career as a physical therapist, almost all as a department director, I was given an opportunity in senior management.  Having a 30,000 foot view of the organization has helped me to view things more holistically.  I enjoy having good working relationships throughout the organization and helping to influence positive change.

What are the challenges and rewards you experience in your work? I like having the opportunity to use some of my personal strengths each day in the workplace.  Having a clinical background in an administrative position is very valuable providing a care provider viewpoint and understanding multiple perspectives.  The mission and values of our hospital makes me feel my job is important.  It is gratifying to be part of an organization that provides personalized customer service with integrity, compassion, quality, caring, and kindness.  The greatest challenge is getting and keeping the cost of care lower than the level of reimbursement.

What are your plans for the future?  Being relatively new to my current position, I am focusing on sharpening my skills to benefit the organization and our Jasper County customers.  I am currently studying business and will graduate with an executive MBA degree this summer.  My long-term plans are to continue the work at Skiff Medical Center as we strive to be a center of excellence and a treasured community asset.

How has the hospital supported your career?  Skiff Medical Center has been a terrific employer.  Skiff and the people I’ve reported to have been very supportive of personal and professional growth, leadership development, and career advancement.  During my time at Skiff, I have been blessed to have received a doctorate in Physical Therapy from Temple University, become an Orthopaedic Certified Specialist, Sports Certified Specialist, Certified & Licensed Athletic Trainer, and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist. Additionally, I was selected to serve as a member of the US medical delegation at the 2003 Pan American Games in the Dominican Republic, the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and have traveled extensively with the USA Triathlon team as their medic. I am a Past President of the 1,100-member Iowa Physical Therapy Association.  Through all these opportunities and experiences, Skiff has provided encouragement and support along my journey as a lifelong learner for which I am eternally grateful.

More about Brett Altman

Education:  EMBA-Grand Canyon University, Doctor of Physical Therapy-Temple University, Master of Physical Therapy-University of Iowa, BS Biology-Buena Vista University.

Years with hospital: 17

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Goematt-MaryMeadowsMary Goemaat
Independent Living Leader/Volunteer Coordinator
Iowa Specialty Hospital-Clarion

Why did you choose this as your career? We moved back to Iowa and Iowa Specialty Hospital provided the perfect opportunity to work with awesome people who are passionate about what they do.

What are the challenges and rewards you experience in your work? My greatest reward is working with our residents and making them feel welcome, safe and comfortable in their homes. I also recruit and train our hospital volunteers, work with our Auxiliary and purchase for our gift shop.  It is a privilege to share a laugh or hug and help residents and volunteers find purpose and feel appreciated in an extended family environment. The greatest challenge in rural healthcare is wearing many hats and helping people work through health conditions and changes.  My prayer list can be long, and I send out lots of notes and thank you cards as I work with so many amazing residents, volunteers and coworkers!

What are your plans for the future?  I will stay in health care – I feel challenged and appreciated and enjoy being a part of a caring team that finds purpose in giving their best.

How has the hospital supported your career?  I started in admitting and worked as support staff, attended coding classes, networking meetings, IHA meetings and enjoyed a Studer conference. I have taken “in house” education classes like Excel, conflict resolution, and as use our learning library. I worked into leadership as an interim leader and now I have been part of our hospital leadership team for 18 months.  The ongoing support we receive at our leadership meetings helps us to offer our best to staff and patients and residents.  We are offered many opportunities to learn, advance, be challenged, transfer internally, and give back to our communities.  Recently Iowa Specialty Hospital made the investment purchasing the book Reality Based Rules for the Workplace for every staff member and also had the author Cy Wakeman speak to us. It is a pleasure to work with a dedicated group who truly cares about offering the best experience, and are always ready to meet the next challenge in our ever changing market.

More about Mary:

Years with hospital: 12

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Semija-sabanagioSemija Sabanagic
Covenant Medical Center, Waterloo

Why did you choose this as your career? After moving to the area from Chicago, I was in need of a job, and Covenant was in need of an interpreter for the Bosnian community.  Dr. Stanford asked me if I would be willing to interpret as needed.  This eventually became a full time job, and I love it very much.

What are the challenges and rewards you experience in your work? My biggest reward is that I gain the respect of many patients and doctors.  Some other rewards include the ability to work with different doctors, see different cases and learn something new every day.  Challenges include time management and organization.

What are your plans for the future? I would like to continue my education.

How has the hospital supported your career? The hospital helped me with my college tuition and adjusted my work schedule around my class times.

More about Semija:

Education: Graduated from Hawkeye Community College in respiratory therapy

Years with hospital: 14 Years

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Stephanie Machin
Emergency Room Nurse
Skiff Medical Center, Newton

Why did you choose this as your career? There was not one defining moment which made me have the revelation of becoming a nurse.  I knew ever since I was a child that I wanted to enter the nursing profession.  I love to care for and interact with people, and nursing was a perfect career choice for me.  My parents were both educators and were very influential in guiding me to obtain a college education and enter a field where I could always show my skills and knowledge.  One of my happiest days was when my mother placed my nursing pin on my lapel.

What are the challenges and rewards you experience in your work? The rewards are so numerous, but nothing is more rewarding than having patients come to us in times of illness and crisis and we are able to help make those patients better.  Working in a smaller community allows us to really get to know our patients and their families.  I love the small town atmosphere and smaller hospital size.

Challenges are plentiful also, with changes in reimbursement, payer mix, and our patient population variations.  We really have to be diligent in how we operate, but those challenges also give us opportunities to do things better and more efficiently. Lots of good ideas come about when we just put our heads together and work through the process as it applies to our situation.

What are your plans for the future?  As far as the distant future is concerned, I would like to continue in my current position, helping to evolve it for the future.  I am interested in introducing more technology to the bedside, and explore new opportunities along that line.

How has the hospital supported your career?  Skiff has been fantastic in supporting my professional growth!  That is one of the reasons why I choose to stay here.  Whether it was 20 years ago during my LPN or currently with the BSN, they have been very positive and accommodating to my needs with work, school and home life/family balance.  I couldn’t ask for anything more.

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Danyl Lown
Staff Nurse
Mercy Iowa City

Why did you choose this as your career? I enjoy caring for others. I had an experience where my grandmother was in the hospital and I saw the care that she received. I have also been told that I share “a gift of Mercy.”

What are the challenges and rewards you experience in your work?  The challenges include new patients and new situations, especially on a medical unit, and being attentive to all aspects of the patient’s and the family’s needs.  The rewards are seeing someone progress back to their state of wellbeing and building relationships both with the family and the patient.  Always learning and growing is another reward.

What are your plans for the future?  I want to go back to school for a master’s degree in nursing education and teach in the classroom and in clinical settings.

How has the hospital supported your career?  The hospital has been very supportive. I received Mercy’s Health Careers Scholarship, $1,000 a year, for four years while I was in college. I also had a summer internship in telemetry while I was a student. I’ve had further education like ACLS class and an upcoming chemotherapy class. I hope to receive future education grants and there is also tuition reimbursement at Mercy.

More about Danyl Lown

Education:  Bachelor’s degree from Mt. Mercy College

Years with hospital: Three years

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