This blog was written by Kevin Vermeer, President and CEO of Unity Point Health:
Fall always makes me think about three things: football, family and back-to-school.
As a kid, I spent most of my free time playing sports. Give me a field or a court, and that’s where I did my best learning.
Being on a team was motivating. You’re empowered to make an impact, encouraged to do your best and supported to reach shared goals.
It’s where I met the most influential person in my young life: My school’s junior varsity basketball coach not only taught me how to dribble and shoot, he gave me skills to take off the court. He showed me how to thoughtfully and effectively communicate with others, how to think on my feet, and what it means to be accountable.
He invested in me and my teammates as students, players and people.
In so many ways, he helped prepare me for the role I’m in now at UnityPoint Health.
While no longer in a uniform, I constantly find myself searching for feedback, fostering relationships and learning from each of the 30,000 people who make up the UnityPoint Health team. We’re in this together, and to succeed, we need each other – which is why our team feels more like family.
As the leader of a large health system, I am deeply invested in improving the health and wellness of the people and communities UnityPoint Health serves. Having the opportunity to align that passion as a board member with the Healthiest State Initiative was a no-brainer. It is a true privilege to be part of another organization committed to Iowans’ physical, social and emotional well-being.
And receiving a quality education is a major player in achieving that mission.
Schools are the heart of our communities, and the lessons we learn there have a significant impact on our ability live well and be well. That’s why UnityPoint Health is giving one school the opportunity to win $25,000 to be used for enhancing the well-being of its students, teachers and/or learning environment.
“Imagine the Amazing” is a back-to-school contest open to all K-12 nonprofit public and private schools within the 99 counties of Iowa and the primary counties served by UnityPoint Health in Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Voting is open September 17-30, and winners will be announced the week of October.
The school with the most votes wins the grand prize of $25,000, to be awarded at a “You Matter Day” event held at the school. The 10 schools with the most votes will receive runner-up awards of $1,000.
I hope you’ll rally for your schools and communities, because the chance to invest in our communities through our kids, teachers and their futures starts now.
Kevin Vermeer assumed the role President and CEO of UnityPoint Health (formerly Iowa Health System) in January 2016. He's served the organization in a variety of leadership roles since 2000. Vermeer has over two decades of experience managing financial operations for leading health care organizations. Vermeer participates in community organizations, such as the Iowa Business Council and Greater Des Moines Committee. Vermeer also serves on the Healthiest State Initiative Board.