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Father's Day Stories from UnityPoint Health Families

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families on father's day

Father’s Day reminds us to spend extra time spoiling dads and caretakers, making sure they know how much we appreciate them and all the things they do for us. While most people don’t see their fathers as much as they’d like, some parents get the opportunity to work side-by-side with their children. We even found some dads who wander past their sons or daughters in the hallways at UnityPoint Health. Here are a few of their stories.

Father: Joel Hacker (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)
Son: Aaron Hacker  (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)

Joel Hacker and Aaron HackerWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

I began my career at Peoria Methodist in February 2011 because of a referral from a good friend. The son of that friend is also a friend of my own son. They both now work at Methodist in the cafeteria. I'm glad to have him working for a great employer, where he can have a caring staff to work with, and he has the possibility of upward mobility in accordance with his goals. It's also great to be able to talk to him during lunch periods.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

This is definitely not a professional story, but there have been a couple times when I've been able to poke fun at him while he was doing his work. It helps to break the monotony of the day and helps him to get to know other staff better.

Father: Robert Handegan (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)
Daughter: Whitney McInnis  (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)

What do you like most about working with a family member?

"It gives me a change to see her more often," Robert said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“I had several people, who didn't know we were related due to her name change, tell me about this nurse who acts and has mannerisms exactly like mine, except she was much better looking than me," Robert said

Father: Daniel Cole (UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge)
Daughter: Kaitlin Cole  (UnityPoint Health – Fort Dodge)

Daniel Cole & Kaitlin ColeWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“I work with my dad at the Fort Dodge hospital. I work in physician and provider recruitment and when I began my role in January 2015, I was positioned to recruit for the Emergency Department. My dad happens to be the Medical Director of the Emergency Department. My favorite part was being able to phone screen candidates with my father. It has been really neat to do a site visit with him, as well and see how he interacts in a work environment. I only ever had the chance to see him talk about medicine at home. Seeing him talk about the organization and the ER, I can see the passion and his eyes light up when he talks about his department. It has really made me proud of him and to be his daughter,” Kaitlin said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“I was choosing between moving to Kansas City or coming back to Fort Dodge. My dad thought I would really like working for the hospital and talked me into applying for the position I am in today. I moved back to Fort Dodge from Missouri and took the role, and it is one hundred percent because my dad loves to work for this organization. Where I used to see my parents two times a year, I now get to go to lunch with my dad and others who work here on a frequent basis. It is really fun to see him more, and I know he is glad I ended up in health care,” Kaitlin said.

Father: Jeffrey Westervelt (Allen Hospital – Waterloo)
Daughter: Robyn Orr (UnityPoint at Home)

Jeffrey Westervelt & Robyn OrrWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“I love being able to see my dad in the halls or hearing stories from others about him! It's also great to be able to discuss changes within the system together, as we each can relate and offer feedback on things like insurance changes and new uniforms,” Robyn said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“My dad and I often share stories about our day, and he told me he had made a patient's birthday special by having his department sign a birthday card for her and then found items she could have on her hospital diet to present her with some kind of birthday cake. I nominated him for a Care Counts award, and this nomination clenched his spot as Allen's Legend that year, which is above and beyond an ambassador. This resulted in a picture in the hallway by the cafeteria, a monetary reward and he's in an orientation video, a prime example of Allen Care Values! I even requested that picture years later and gave it to him as a gift, and now, he has the 12x36 picture that was on display to remember what a superb person and father he really is! I will always have these memories of being allowed the chance to work with the man I've known all my life. However, now I can now share his kindness, generosity, wit and wisdom with coworkers, patients and visitors,” Robyn said.

Father: Dave Wieland (UnityPoint Health – Des Moines)
Daughter: Amy Varcoe (UnityPoint Health – Des Moines)

Dave Wieland & Amy VarcoeWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“My dad worked for the same company for 40 years. After he retired, he needed to do something to keep him busy. I've worked at UnityPoint Health—Des Moines for more than nine years and told him what a rewarding place it is to work. My dad started working as a courier part-time this year. I never thought we would ever work at the same organization, but it is fun to talk about work, where he’s been and what he’s been doing and vice versa,” Amy said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“My dad was going through Day One, and he mentioned that his daughter works here, too. The leaders who were facilitating said they, in fact, knew me. My initial response was I hope he didn't say anything that would embarrass me! They assured me he didn't, but I had to laugh that no matter how old we get, children still worry their parents will embarrass them. I am so happy to have him on board and a part of our growing family at UnityPoint Health,” Amy said.

Father: Dan Kennedy (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)
Daughter: Colleen Hamilton (Methodist Hospital – Peoria)

dan kennedy & colleen hamiltonWhat do you like most about working with a family member?

“My dad has been a volunteer here at Methodist for many years. I started working at Methodist about three years ago. We will sometimes have lunch together, when we can. He takes a lot of pride in being a volunteer here, and I love coming to work and getting to see him! It's an added bonus to my day! He's a very special man, and I am honored to call him DAD,” Colleen said.

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“When my dad had his hip replaced, he spent a couple of weeks on rehab. Every morning when I would get to work, I'd go straight to his room and wish him a good morning. What an awesome way to start my day! My daughter would give me a stuffed animal to give to him. I'd visit at lunch and visit at the end of my day. He couldn't say enough about the staff. I always hear how lucky I am to have him as a dad and how sweet he is. He has been an inspirational role model, and I couldn't have asked for a better father. I'm very blessed indeed,” Colleen said.

Father: Tim McCulley (UnityPoint Health Director of Payor Contracting)
Daughter: Lindsey McCulley (UnityPoint Health – Des Moines)

What do you like most about working with a family member?

“I enjoy sharing stories about Iowa Methodist Medical Center and all the changes it has gone through since my parents started working here in the late 1980s,” Lindsey said..

Tell us a fun story about working with a family member.

“Many administrators, nurses and doctors know my parents, so I get asked often if I'm related to Tim or Brenda McCulley. Then, stories always follow about when people used to work with them,” Lindsey said.

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