Broadlawns board endorsement: Bill Taber and Kavi Chawla

Dr. Mary Krieg and Janet Metcalf co-authored this endorsement of their colleagues on the Broadlawns Board of Trustees, Bill Taber and Kavi Chawla. -promoted by Laura Belin

Since 1924, Broadlawns Medical Center has served as the safety net hospital for Polk County by ensuring that high quality healthcare is affordable and accessible to everyone. Broadlawns is governed by a seven-member, nonpartisan board of trustees. Each of the seven trustees are elected to serve six-year terms. The board is comprised of unpaid, elected officials who take a sworn oath to govern in the best interest of the hospital, its patients and its employees.The trustees are charged with the responsibility of fulfilling the hospital’s mission to build a healthy community through the delivery of accessible, cost effective and high-quality patient care, and demonstrating fiscal stewardship to safeguard the long-term sustainability of the organization.

As current trustees for Broadlawns, we take the responsibilities of governance very seriously and our sole motivation is to ensure that our county hospital is positioned to capably attend to the healthcare needs of the community, both now and in the future. We are dedicated public servants who recognize that the health of our community is of paramount importance to the overall stability of Polk County. In 2016, the board adopted a new vision for Broadlawns to be the best public hospital in the United States, and the board and leadership are committed to achieving this distinction.

As trustees, it has been truly inspiring to see the resilience and commitment of the administrators and medical staff throughout the COVID-19 healthcare pandemic. Broadlawns has risen to the challenge and has demonstrated excellence during this heightened time in healthcare. The staff mobilized with agility, and they remain positioned to capably meet the physical, mental and dental healthcare needs of the residents of Polk County.  This caliber of preparedness illustrates the astute leadership, skilled medical staff, dedicated employees and sound financial management that are constant in the daily operations of the organization.

With visionary leadership and diligent governance, Broadlawns has undergone a remarkable transformation over the past decade. The once aging medical facilities have been updated to meet the current standards for medical care and the medical staff has been bolstered with some of the finest physicians available. Facility enhancements to the campus were funded through operational revenues with no increase to the property tax levy and no debt incurred by the hospital. 

In fact, Broadlawns has voluntarily operated below its property tax levy in each of the past five fiscal years to reduce its burden upon the taxpayers, and has concurrently maintained the lowest cost structure in Iowa, providing the most affordable healthcare in the state.

Broadlawns personifies the importance of a community hospital through its meaningful partnerships with nonprofit organizations such as Urban Dreams, Creative Visions, and Dorothy’s House to address social determinants of health. Working with Urban Dreams and Des Moines Area Community College, Broadlawns is administering award-winning job-training programs (TEACH and TECH) that elevate individuals who have historically faced barriers to employment into careers as healthcare workers. 

By collaborating with Drake University, Broadlawns is providing healthcare and stability to marginalized neighborhoods within the urban core of Des Moines. These initiatives demonstrate vision and commitment to addressing underlying challenges to the health of our community.

Five candidates are running for two positions on the Broadlawns Board of Trustees that are up for election this year. Two of the candidates, Bill Taber and Kavi Chawla, are incumbents running for re-election. As existing trustees, Mr. Taber and Mr. Chawla have played an integral role in favorably positioning Broadlawns Medical Center to meet the current and future needs of our community. 

Their respective records of achievement merit re-election, and we are grateful that they are willing to continue as public servants. It is a privilege to collaborate with them and to witness their dedication to Broadlawns Medical Center. We wholeheartedly endorse them both for re-election on November 3. The ongoing health of our community and a vibrant county hospital are critically important, and these incumbent candidates are committed to maintaining Broadlawns’ success.

Mary Krieg, RNC, PhD – Broadlawns Board of Trustees, Treasurer

Janet Metcalf – Broadlawns Board of Trustees, Vice Chair

Top image: Bill Taber (left) and Kavi Chawla.

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