Leadership Lodi is a course dedicated to inspiring and motivating individuals from our community to attain higher levels of leadership. Formed through the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce in 1990, the hands-on workshops, interviews with local leaders, and nonprofit projects have made an immense impact on Lodi as a whole.
During the course of Leadership Lodi, participants go through 10 all-day meetings with different facets of the community. The mission for this month was to introduce all of the Leadership Lodi 2019 participants to the wonderful educational opportunities that exist in and around Lodi.
This month, the class started their educational day at Adventist Health Lodi Memorial Hospital. The first speaker was the President of the hospital, Daniel Wolcott. The focus of Adventist Health Lodi Memorial is on community health, living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope.
The hospital has been awarded an “A” from the Leapfrog Group for its commitment to keeping patients safe and meeting the highest safety standards in the United States. This award means you’re in Safe Hands.
“Our care providers are proud to receive the distinction of an A-grade hospital,” said Daniel Wolcott. “We prioritize patients first, and this recognition illustrates the dedication on our physicians, nurses and employees who are committed to providing an exceptional quality of care to Lodi area communities.”
The second speaker to address the class was Jamie Vilinskas, Leadership Lodi Graduate 2017 and the marketing and business development director for Vienna Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
Vienna Nursing provides 24-hour skilled nursing care and has 150 beds, and the latest in rehabilitation services for inpatient and outpatient therapy. It is locally owned by Kenneth and Diane Heffel and administrator Corey Wright manages the operations of the center. Employees are rewarded for their years of service — a grandfather clock at 25 years and a new vehicle at 30 years.
Vienna offers a diverse activities programs for residents, holiday parties, ice cream socials, summer BBQs, concerts, music, dancing and Alive Inside Program for dementia residents.
Kristi Passey, Director of Rehab, spoke about how having regular physical activity can resolve and prevent so many issues. About 60 percent of adults are not active. Why? “People have excuses, pain, fear of failing, no time, or are too tired,” said Passey, “Weak ankles is the number one cause of falls.”
After hearing from Adventist Health’s wellness coordinator Kevin Vondrgeest and a hands-on CPR presentation from the American Red Cross, Leadership Lodi adjourned to the Adventist Health cafeteria for lunch and a kitchen tour. As part of the Healthy Lodi Initiative, clinical nutritionist Chad Edwards has worked with the cafeteria staff to offer healthier food options for employees and guests visiting the hospital’s cafeteria.
After lunch, the class headed to Station 1 on Elm Street and were met by Gene Stoddart of the Lodi Fire Department. It is the mission of LFD to provide life, property, and environmental protection through prevention, education, and mitigation services delivered with pride and integrity. There are four stations strategically located to serve our city. On average, Lodi Fire responds to 7,000 calls for service annually, their budget is $12 million, and they have a staff of 15 firefighters. Firefighters have a large room where they sleep, and a kitchen to prepare their meals while on shift.
One of the last presentations struck a chord with our class. Silvia Van Stern presented on behalf of Donor Network West. Van Stern, a donor mother herself, shared her story about her 13-year-old son, Michael, who was mortally injured in a gun incident in March 2017. Michael was an organ donor and with his gift of life, he saved five lives. Van Stern’s mission is to promote organ donation, gun safety and awareness. Van Stern will always be remembered for his goofy sense of humor, his heart of gold, and his contagious smile. For more information, see Facebook Michael’s Miracle Foundation.