Looking Back and Looking Ahead: Reflecting on a Year of Leveling Up Together

July 21, 2021

Over the past year at the Iowa Primary Care Association, INConcertCare, and IowaHealth+, we embarked on a journey to deliver results in the first year of an ambitious strategic plan in service of our mission of enhancing community health centers’ capacity to care. To be successful, we knew we would need to create a culture where we expect one another to level up – to always be striving to be better than we were the day before in order to be prepared for a future that will constantly bring new challenges and require more of us. 

All staff and leaders at our organization are expected to level up through developing ourselves and our teams, improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our work, and living our values every day. Well, when we called our organization to level up, our people blew us away! 

Here’s just a few highlights of what our staff accomplished while wowing us with their commitment to our values:

  • Accountable: We met 95.5% of our Strategic Plan Objectives for Year 1 (even during a pandemic!) This was an all hands on deck year so every single staff member had a role in this unbelievable accomplishment.   
  • Proactive: Angela Benjegerdes, Recruitment Specialist, placed 25 providers and leaders in our health centers across the state. Her proactive approach to recruitment has yielded tremendous results for our health centers’ workforce!  
  • Deliberate: Jennifer Cox led our small but mighty Application Support Team of Anthony Damrow, Monick Reese, and Adam Welu to close over 2,200 support tickets and achieve an average 9.68 customer support rating while also significantly reducing time to resolution of those tickets for our health centers.  
  • Collaborative: Julie Baker, Director of Clinical Consulting, and Gagan Lamba, Behavioral Health Consultant, held 23 ECHO sessions for HCV, behavioral health, and MAT services to amplify the capacity of our health center clinicians to deliver best-in-practice care and reduce health disparities in our under-resourced communities! 
  • Transformative: 41% of our staff were trained and applied their learning in a continuous improvement methodology with the leadership of Emily Vogt, Program Manager. We hosted multiple events focused on leveling up our services and communication with our health centers and were thrilled to invite health center staff to participate directly in the events to capture our customers' (YOUR) voice. 
  • Respectful: Katie Owens, Director of Communications, and Maggie Koenig, Communications Consultant, conducted patient focus groups with all 11 of our IowaHealth+ centers and collected data from 81 patients to ensure our marketing and communications plan is patient-centered. 

I could quite literally write a book about what our staff has accomplished in the last wild year. I am proud and humbled by what we accomplished together with you – our members and our partners. Even more than the results, I’m proud that we faced all the hard things together as members of a network of health centers committed to our patients. We are focused on progress not perfection, courage not comfort, and patience not panic. Hundreds of small, daily actions of progress, courage, and patience will bind us to face the challenges ahead of us to achieve our vision of health equity for all. And the lesson I most learned this year is what we believe about ourselves and about each other, we can achieve. I hope you’ll join me in celebrating a year of tremendous success, and believe that together, we have an incredibly bright future ahead!  

-Kelly Frett, Chief Operating Officer