The Mary Greeley Medical Center Board of Trustees, the governing body of the medical center, is composed of five unpaid citizens elected to serve overlapping terms of four years. Board of Trustee elections are non-partisan and are held in odd-numbered years; two seats are up for election in 2017. Members serve at-large, so voters can vote on all three seats. The board meets monthly, usually on the 4th Monday at 5:00 p.m. The board establishes long-term direction, promotes financial viability, oversees quality improvement, and selects and monitors the performance of the CEO. Candidates must be residents of the hospital service area but are selected by Ames City voters. Election day is November 7. For locations/times and absentee voting info, visit the Auditor’s page on www.storycountyiowa.gov.
maintained Advanced Hospital Trustee Certification through the Iowa
Hospital Association since 2011.
Mary Kitchell has served in many organizations, including Board President
and Campaign Chair at United Way, the Mid-Iowa Community Health Committee,
and Iowa Medical Society Foundation Chair.
Other Relevant Experience
She has been a volunteer at
Mary Greeley since 1980 and has also served as chair of both the Auxiliary
and Foundation Boards. She has been on its Board of Trustees since 2000
MGMC’s employees are a key factor in providing excellent care in a
compassionate environment. Transparency and effective communication
fosters their engagement. The board often invites employees to speak at our
meetings. This is an opportunity to learn about their work, support their
achievements, and discern their challenges. Board actions are published in
the employee newsletter and posted on communication boards on every unit.
An independent research firm surveys all staff annually. Follow-up plans
and focus groups are formed to respond to survey results. We welcome
suggestions from these groups. My personal contact information is publicly
available. As a hospital volunteer, I circulate around the facility every
week and frequently interact with staff.
If elected, my primary goal is to advance the strategic plan that our board
has developed. Our mission is “to advance health through specialized care
and personal touch,” and our vision is “to be the best.” The plan focuses
on quality and safety, operational performance, access to health and
wellness, and external relationships. We embrace a high-reliability
culture that delivers care that is patient-centered and eliminates
preventable harm while improving efficiency and effectiveness of care. We
want to strengthen our position as the best place both to receive care and
to work. We need to sustain our financial health. We want to improve
access to care, particularly with regard to behavioral health services. We
want to build community partnerships to support our key services.
There are many opportunities to improve communication between the two entities. I think the fastest way would be to remind the employees that the Board meetings are public meetings, and they are always invited to attend those meeting. If they have comments to make, they do need to submit a form, so that room can be allotted for their comments during the public comment time.
Another approach would be to include all or a part of the board minutes in the weekly newsletter to the employees. The minutes are always available to anyone, but they have to be requested, which can make some employees apprehensive.
A different approach could be to have a column in the newsletter that would talk about the board meeting, decisions, and how the decisions may affect the job or work place environment. They could also have the opportunity to submit questions or comments anonymously if desired and answered by a board member.
I am a firm believer in transparency and feel that transparency works.
My primary goal and reason for running for the MGMC Board is to bring a clinical perspective to the board. As a retire previous employee, I understand how all the departments of the hospital work together. I understand that policy regarding a single department can affect every department. Unless you have been there, I don’t think you can fully understand how the departments work so closely together, yet separately
to treat the patient.
We all understand the importance of "Personal Touch" and keeping that as part of MGMC's mission. Personal touch has been shown to improve and hasten the patients return to health. The MGMC Board had to keep that goal In mind when making decisions and policies. We need to make that goal easier to attain and not put obstacles in the way of the employees when trying to do their job and realize this goal.
We need to make the work environment at MGMC a stable and enjoyable one. I strongly feel that a happy workplace makes a happy employee, and...
MGMC Board of Trustees since February 2017; United Way of Story County – ISU leadership chair, ISU campaign chair, current Member of Executive Board since 2015
Other Relevant Experience
Dean, College of Human Sciences (CHS) 2008 – 2016 Interim Dean – 2007- 08 Interim Dean, College of FCS – 2003-05 Active in national Board on Human Sciences of the Assoc of Public and Land-grant
Communications among and between all components of any institution are critical to a good business model. Transparency in the actions of all governing entities, and inclusion of every employee, lead to healthy interactions and, thus, open communications throughout the organization.
There are many ways to enhance communications not only between the Board and MGMC employees, but also between employees and the MGMC administration. In fact, the most important service the Board can provide is to ensure the existence of healthy internal communications. There are several considerations:
1) Employees have an existing mechanism for communication with the Board. The MGMC Board of Trustees strictly follows guidelines for the Open Meetings Law of the State of Iowa. As such, any MGMC employee may attend regularly scheduled, monthly meetings of the Board, where contributions from the public, including MGMC employees, are invited as a regular item on the agenda.
As a member of the MGMC Board of Trustees, a primary goal for me is, and will be, to promote activities that enhance the health and wellness of the people in our community.
Medical centers like MGMC, which is a municipal, not-for-profit, multi-service hospital, should serve the community. In serving the community, we should be proactive in preventive health care – i.e. promoting healthy lifestyles. Preventing disease, not just treating disease, is becoming more and more important to the United States and the world. We have learned so much, just over the past few decades, about how lifestyle impacts our overall health, including mental health: nutrition, exercise, response to stress, environment, family relations, access to friends, and stimulation of the mind all factor into overall health and well-being throughout the life cycle. These topics are all focus areas for the Iowa State University, College of Human Sciences, where I most recently served as dean.