MADISON COUNTY − Rachel Gonzales, Madison Memorial Hospital’s chief executive officer, was recently named Chairwoman of the Idaho Hospital Association (IHA). She was the vice chair last year and has served on the IHA board for five years. The first three were spent as the regional policy board representative to the American Hospitals Association.
According to information from the IHA, Gonzales represented Idaho’s hospitals as a delegate for the American Hospital Association in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico. Her colleagues valued her leadership skills and in 2018 was elected as the secretary and treasurer of the IHA Board.
“Rachel’s leadership at both Madison Memorial Hospital and as Chair of the Idaho Hospital Association Board of Directors is focused first and foremost on the patient,” said Brian Whitlock, IHA President and CEO. “I appreciate her leadership style which causes those around her to think outside the box and identify new ways to enhance the quality of care and the patient’s experience not just at her hospital but throughout the state. She has been a thoughtful leader throughout Idaho and the Intermountain Region and has the unique experience and clinical background to help all of us focus on delivering care to Idahoans more efficiently and effectively.”
According to a press release from Madison Memorial, the IHA has provided voice, value and visibility for Idaho’s local hospitals since 1933. Idaho Hospital CEOs voted for Gonzales to become the Chairman and she officially gained the title last January. She will carry out her duties as chairwoman for the rest of 2020.
“IHA brings hospital and healthcare leaders together in pursuit of quality healthcare across Idaho,” according to the press release. “IHA strives to offer members valued resources and services in many areas, including: federal and state policy development and advocacy; quality and patient safety; data analytics; and workforce development. Currently there are 51 member hospitals associated with the IHA.”
Gonzales is known for her bright and engaging attitude. She’s spent much of her early career as a nurse and is an advocate for those who want to join the health care field.
“Throughout my time serving in these roles I have often found that I learn something at every meeting,” Gonzales said. “Health care is about relationships – I am able to sit around the table with great health care leaders from the state (from our most remote hospital CEOs to the large system CEOs) – this networking allows our hospitals to collaborate for the benefit of our communities and patients. We can learn best practices from each other to grow the quality of all hospitals in the state.”
Gonzales said now is a new and exciting time to lead the IHA because the public’s attention has turned towards health care and the legislature has noticed.
“Health care as a business needs to find new methods to meet the changing needs of our communities, and at the same time, I love having the voice to represent the uniqueness of Madison Memorial Hospital,” she said. “Health care is a service field; we have one mission – to care – this is an additional role for me to have the ability to shout out how wonderful of a field we work in.”