Best Hospital: UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital

UnityPoint Health - St. Luke's Hospital

When a four-year-old leaves the ER late on a Sunday night with both stitches and a smile on their face, you know you’ve done something right.

That was the case a few months ago when Hayden Christoffersen bumped her chin in the bathtub. Her parents, Eric and Lydia Christoffersen, took Hayden to UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital in Cedar Rapids, the winning hospital in this year’s Best of the Corridor competition.

“She was pretty scared and worked up, being four years old and never being to the ER,” Mr. Christoffersen recalled. “We got really good care. The doctor was very playful when he came into the room.”

Dr. Yasir Elhawi was working in the ER that night.

“He had her laughing right away,” said Ms. Christoffersen, who is also a nurse at St. Luke’s. “It turned a traumatic situation to having her laughing and smiling in no time.”
Stories like these are indicative of the hospital’s emphasis on treating patients like one of the family, according to St. Luke’s Hospital President and CEO Ted Townsend.

“We want to give health care we’d want our own loved ones to receive,” Mr. Townsend said. “We’ve taken that to heart.”

It’s that personal touch that Mr. Townsend believes is the reason why UnityPoint Health – St. Luke’s Hospital was named Best Hospital in the Corridor, an area with its fair share of health care options.

“People appreciate what we are trying to do,” he said. “It’s recognition for a job well done, and it’s gratifying to myself and all the people at St. Luke’s.”

Mr. Townsend said he thinks the work that St. Luke’s has done in working with the uninsured and children, and bolstering its behavioral health and rehabilitation services separates them from other hospitals and clinics in the area.

“These are services other organizations don’t emphasize, and I think that’s appreciated,” Mr. Townsend said. “It makes us different.”

The hospital’s combination of expertise and personal touches have helped make St. Luke’s one of the most recognized in the Corridor. In 2013, the hospital was named one of the nation’s Top 50 Cardiovascular Hospital by Truven Health Analytics. St. Luke’s was also named one of the Top 100 Heart Hospitals in the nation in 2004, 2007, 2008 and 2012. It is also a five-time winner of the 100 Top Hospitals award.

“We have a long legacy of doing excellent work,” Mr. Townsend said. “We have excellent people and we try to do the best we can for the people of our community, and they recognize that.”

-Ryan Suchomel

3 Best Hospital