Donna Vandehaar thanked for 45 years of healthcare service

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Donna Vandehaar, right, was honored at a retirement party Sept. 28, marking her 45 years in the healthcare field. Her husband, Alan Vandehaar, was among more than 100 well wishers attending the party.

Donna Vandehaar, chief operating officer at the Dallas County Hospital, was honored Sept. 28 at a retirement party attended by more than 100 friends and colleagues from her 45 years in the healthcare field.

Since starting at DCH in 2005, Vandehaar served by turns as chief clinical officer and interim chief executive officer and rounded out her career as the chief operating officer.

“Donna’s been a champion of quality measures at DCH, helping us meet or exceed the state benchmarks,” said Dallas County CEO Angela Mortoza. “Donna also led the partnership with DCH, DMACC and Perry Schools for the health occupations courses.”

Vandehaar earned her nursing diploma at the Iowa Lutheran School of Nursing, a business degree from Drake University and her Master’s of Business Administration from the University of Minnesota.

In the course of her long and varied career, Vandehaar worked at Iowa Lutheran Hospital, Cherokee Regional Medical Center and Mercy-Sioux City and St. Luke’s in Sioux City, finally finishing at DCH.

She received the Outstanding Iowa Nurse Executive Award in 1999 from the Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders and held the presidency and several other offices with the Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders throughout the years. Vandehaar served on the Iowa Hospital Association Board from 2009-2015 and was recognized as one of 100 Iowa Great Nurses in 2015.

“We would like to recognize Donna for her passion and leadership,” Mortoza said. “She will be missed, but I know she will continue to be active in the healthcare field.”

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