Doug Peterson is the president/CEO for AdventHealth Durand, a 25-bed hospital campus nestled in Chippewa Valley in scenic Wisconsin.
The hospital and its outpatient clinics joined AdventHealth in 1997. Today, AdventHealth Durand offers a wide variety of medical services and specialties in the tradition of whole-person care – care for the body, mind and spirit.
Below is an interview with Peterson about AdventHealth’s presence in the Durand community, his biggest hurdles in the industry and his advice to the next generation of leaders.
Q: What inspires you to get up every morning and serve at AdventHealth?
What inspires me is knowing we make a positive difference in the lives of those we serve. At AdventHealth Durand, we have a unique challenge serving in a rural community. We are in close proximity to many health care providers that all do a fine work. Obviously, we can’t provide all the services one would find in a metropolitan community, but the things we do, we strive to do them exceptionally well. Often, so we get to know our consumers on a personal level. Because of this, we give them the attention they deserve.
Q: How has your faith shaped the way you view and lead in Seventh-day Adventist health care?
I hope that everyone reading this realizes that a person’s faith shapes who they are, how they view things and how they lead. So, being a Seventh-day Adventist, leading a Seventh-day Adventist-sponsored work allows me to be myself. I don’t have to pretend to be someone I am not. Along these lines, I realize there is also a high level of responsibility. By the grace of God, I strive to represent God and those I work for.
Q: In what ways is AdventHealth Extending the Healing Ministry of Christ inside and outside of its facility’s walls in Durand, Wisconsin?
It is our goal to fulfill our mission, and inside our facility walls we treat our patients the way we would treat our own loved ones. Social workers and care coordinators help patients navigate their way through the health care system. Our chaplaincy department helps meet the spiritual needs of patients with regular visits and works with their local clergy during their time with us.
And outside of our facility walls we reach out to our community in many ways to fulfil our mission. Some of the things we do include, but are not limited to, providing educational materials to the local middle and high schools. We do free eye checks, and volunteer on community wellness boards. We participate in emergency preparedness, which covers a large geographic area. We provide free diabetic education and training. We provide flu shots to area businesses and promote wellness and activity by sponsoring fun walks and runs.
Q: What challenges in health care have you and your administration team set out to tackle in the next few years?
One thing that is constant is change. I see that our community is not growing in numbers, but we are growing in age – a demographic similar to many communities. What services will be needed? How will we staff and provide them? These are the questions we are trying to answer because we know people have a choice on how, when and where they access health care. So, we are working on raising our service standards and doing what we can to make it easy for our community to utilize our services.
Q: What has been your greatest leadership lesson and what advice would you pass on to the next generation of leaders?
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” My advice to those aspiring leaders of the next generation is to start with God and seek wisdom. Get your education, learn all that you can. If possible, find a mentor.