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Episode 4: Nancy Dykstra (Promise Community Health Center)

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Executive Summary

My guest on today’s podcast is Nancy Dykstra.  Nancy is the Executive Director of Promise Community Health Center, which is one of 13 health centers in Iowa.  Promise is a not-for-profit, patient-directed, health-care center, which provides comprehensive primary and preventive healthcare.  Those comprehensive services include medical, dental, prenatal, behavioral health, and vision care.  Promise was founded in July of 2008, with a unique mission of serving the underserved, underinsured, or uninsured patients.  What’s fascinating about Nancy’s story is how she was able to connect with other like-minded individuals who caught the vision and helped drive the success of the organization.

In this episode, we walk through the progression from a few staff members and services, to now offering comprehensive services all in one location.  We talk about some of the challenges in gaining Federal funding for a startup health center and how efficiently they had to operate in the early days to stretch their limited resources available.  Nancy also talks about how the success of the organization is founded on having the right people in place to serve with compassion and dignity.  She also emphasizes that building the proper infrastructure is important for staff members to effectively do their work.  We conclude the interview by discussing how Nancy’s impact has been driven by having a passion for serving others, especially the underserved and vulnerable people in our community.

I hope you enjoy this episode of the IMPACT Podcast!

  • Efficiently operating on essentially 2 years of funding that was stretched to pay 4 years of expenses while applying for Federal funding [12:02]
  • Starting in 2008 with a staff of 6 employees and serving a few hundred patients to a staff of over 40 employees and serving over 4,000 patients [16:45]
  • Giving back to the community by focusing on preventive care, especially to help kids and families stay healthy [18:18]
  • “Ultimately, patients being served with compassion and dignity. To me, that’s success.” [21:28]
  • How finding your passion can be a matter of searching until you find it, and not being afraid to walk through a door that is open [26:15]

Links from this episode:
Promise Community Health Center – http://www.promisechc.org/
Nancy’s retirement announcement – https://promisechcnews.blogspot.com/2017/07/dykstra-plans-to-retire-as-promises.html
Nancy’s history – https://promisechcnews.blogspot.com/2017/10/dykstra-awarded-prestigious-carl.html
Contact to get involved – dvanderwaal@promisechc.org

Integrated Financial Planning, Promise Community Health Center, and LPL Financial are separate entities.

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