Margaret Foley says she decided in preschool that she wanted to be a nurse, and at age 84, she's still actively involved in healthcare."She has a natural sense of compassion for patients and a commitment to act on that feeling of compassion," says Lindsay Mann, chief executive officer of 410-bed Kaweah Delta Health Care District, which runs a public hospital and system based in Visalia, Calif. Foley retired from nursing in 1990 after a 50-year career, beginning as a surgical nurse in the Pacific for the Army during World War II and ending as perinatal manager at Kaweah Delta. Retirement didn't last long. She was elected to the board of Kaweah Delta the same year she retired and remains a member. She chaired the board from1997 to 2003. As a board member with a clinical background, she's been a vocal proponent of the district's outreach efforts, such as Kaweah Delta's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and Samaritan Center, a free clinic. She also was instrumental in the district's development of a senior retirement community, psychiatric hospital, recreation center -- which includes exercise rooms, a gymnasium and two pools -- and a $134 million expansion that includes the hospital's emergency department, obstetrics services and regional heart center. "It's really exciting to see something grow," Foley says. And grow it has, from a "little old hospital" in 1969 -- the year Foley moved to Visalia -- to the systemit is today. For her accomplishments, Foley earned an honorable mention in the large healthcare organizations category in Modern Healthcare's 2006 Trustee of the Year awards competition
Margaret Foley - honorable mention
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