“It was more about a bigger purpose in life for me,” she says. “I think it's just how you're wired as an individual. I felt like I needed to make a difference in my community.”
So in June 2002, hoping to make a positive community impact, she made the leap to the hospital job, becoming manager of financial operations.
Less than a decade later, Detterman found herself as the top executive responsible for overseeing the construction of a new, $35 million community hospital to replace Mercy Willard's outdated plant.
In 2009, she had taken the job as president and CEO of the 25-bed critical-access hospital, owned by Catholic Health Partners. After ground broke for a hospital in July 2010, she got a hard hat with her name on it and frequently visited the construction site to oversee construction of the 101,000-square foot building, which opened in May.
For her achievements, Detterman is being recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the Up & Comers of 2012.
She says that although she comes from a financial background, she respects the need for patient safety as a goal in itself. For example, the hospital recently invested $60,000 in software that reduces the amount of radiation delivered to patients during CT scans by more than 40% because of recent concerns about the effects of high radiation levels on children and adults.
“That was complete expense to our organization,” she says. “We are not reimbursed one cent for adding that software. But it was just the right thing to do.”