Lighting a Path for Others

by Debbie Simon, UnityPoint Health

“As we light a path for others, we naturally light our own way,” writes author Mary Anne Radmacher. That’s what I see when I look at the strong female leaders in our community. We guide each other, offering support and advice, and we make progress because we work together. A great example of influential leadership can be found in Methodist College President Kimberly Johnston. She’s a featured leader in this issue, and I look forward to reading the insight she shares. I have the privilege of watching so many women grow into influential leaders through their careers with UnityPoint Health – Peoria. They make me proud… and their influence is felt far beyond our hospitals, college and clinics.

Take Cindy Hale, director of analytics and accreditation for UnityPoint Health – Peoria. It’s a critical role in our organization, and it gives her the opportunity to make a big impact. Cindy is the kind of person who is very aware of the influence she’s having on others. She has held a number of leadership positions since beginning her career here 37 years ago, and has always looked for opportunities to light a path for other women. In fact, mentoring is a closely held value for her; she says helping young women find and stretch their potential is among the most rewarding opportunities she’s had. It would be impossible to measure the degree of her influence across her nearly four-decade career—an example that will resonate with coworkers, patients, their families and the community for years to come.

Then there’s Tammie Speck, volunteer services coordinator for UnityPoint Health – Methodist. She leads a team of dedicated people who give their time to assist patients and the medical center, but there’s a lot more to what she does. Ask any of our volunteers and they’ll tell you: Tammie is a listening ear when they need it most, a support during trying times, and a smiling face who is perpetually finding new ways to inspire her team. The relationships she builds with our volunteers are truly meaningful, and that’s so important because they are a key part of the care team, helping make hospital visits a little easier for patients with an encouraging smile, kind word or helpful deed. Tammie’s influence makes Methodist a warmer, brighter and more welcoming place.

I’m also grateful for the leadership of Laurie Brown Fotsch. Her long career with UnityPoint Health – Proctor reached a turning point when an influential mentor selected her for an important position. It set her on a progressive path, and she’s grown and thrived ever since. Today, she’s the director of quality and medical affairs for UnityPoint Health – Peoria, which is more than a title—it’s an opportunity to be an encouraging voice to those who look to her for expertise and inspiration. Through the projects she leads, Laurie has the opportunity to impact the lives of the women she works with, and they trust her. She is lighting their path in the same way a mentor lighted her own years ago.

It’s really moving to think about the impact these women are having on those around them... and we’re just scratching the surface. Our organization—and our community—benefit from the influence of many women in leadership, and I am grateful to be in their midst. iBi

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