A group of outstanding Iowa hospital employees was honored this week at the 81st Iowa Hospital Association's Annual Meeting as "Iowa Hospital Heroes." The group included a physician who for many years was the lone practitioner in his county; an advocacy director who champions children's causes; a pharmacist who delivers medicine in a snow storm and then returns to clear out the drive; and a first-year nurse who saved a teen girl who was seriously injured in a car accident.
The Iowa Hospital Heroes Awards program was created to recognize hospital employees who have performed a heroic act or tirelessly given their time, talent or expertise to better their hospital, patients or community, with measurable results. This was the third year that the awards have been given.
Kathy Leggett, Director of the Center for Advocacy & Outreach at Blank Children's Hospital, was one of the ten named an Iowa Hospital Hero. Four individuals wrote nominations and letters of support for Kathy. Why is Kathy a hero?
"Everyday for the last 13 years, Kathy has been a healthcare advocate and a hero for Iowa's children. She is not a nurse, doctor, counselor or medical provider. Yet, her work has a profound impact on the health and safety of children. Kathy has helped lead initiatives that directly impact the health, well-being and safety of children. Her passion for keeping children safe is contagious and inspiring. While Kathy's work is not a traditional role in a hospital setting, it is just as meaningful and impactful. And the impact is not only felt in central Iowa; the work she does reaches out to children across our state and beyond. Kathy has dedicated her life and career to protecting our children by working with legislators to ensure safety laws are passed to protect others. Isn't that a definition of a hero? A person who dedicates their own life to help protect and save the lives of others. And that is exactly what Kathy does."
The 10 awards given this year went to employees at hospitals of every size, both rural and urban, in all parts of the state. Though some award recipients have been physicians and nurses, there have also been several non-clinical staff members who have shown unique and selfless ways to contribute to their hospitals' missions of caring. While a few of these recipients have stepped forward in an instant to save a life, all have proven their dedication to improving the lives of Iowans.
**Pictured above: Senator Staci Appel and Kathy Leggett. Sen. Appel wrote a letter of support for Kathy's Hospital Hero nomination.