MUSCATINE, Iowa–In February, Muscatine native Rachel Pohl stepped up as the new executive director for UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital. As Pohl assumes her new role, she values the opportunity, “to hear the voices of the community and what they think we can do better and shouting from the rooftops the great things going on here.”
Pohl earned her bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Iowa. She started out her heathcare career with the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics while her husband, Ben Pohl, who now works at UnityPoint Clinic, finished graduate school. While there, she gained an appreciation for the role of hospital administrators and how they could help the teams that work under them thrive. Motivated to learn more, Pohl will soon complete her masters in nursing systems administration from the University of Iowa.
In 2014, Pohl first started working for UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital. She liked getting to work in her hometown and in a smaller facility where she could interact more with staff and the community. Most recently, she served as director of patient services. Since starting with UnityPoint, Pohl has valued the expertise and dedication of the other staff members she worked with. “The greatest asset we have is the people who work here,” she emphasized.
Moving forward in her role of executive director, Pohl welcomes the chance to continue learning about all the people and teams who work at UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital and finding ways to support them so that they can offer the best healthcare possible. She elaborated, “my next steps are listening to the voices of the community and of our employees and using the tools we have to offer quality care locally.”
Pohl especially looks to improve access to care for all who need it and to improve patients’ experiences wherever possible. “A big focus for the hospital and the region is to have as many options for care as possible she explained.”
Because attracting doctors and other professionals to hospitals in smaller cities can prove challenging, Pohl plans to utilize many resources from UnityPoint’s regional network of providers and facilities to offer care in Muscatine. For the past two years, UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital has not had a large enough staff of obstetricians to provide 24 hour labor and delivery service. As the shortage of obstetricians continues, Pohl does not expect this situation to change in the near future. “We’re not in a position yet that we could offer 24 hour labor and deliver at this time,” she stated.
However, Pohl hopes to continue work started prior to her time as director to keep as many other obstetric services available in Muscatine as possible and to keep bringing in new providers in all areas whenever possible. “We are making strides locally to offer other services than just the 24 hour labor and delivery,” she said, explaining that UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine now works with Dr. Pamela McCool from UnityPoint in Bettendorf to offer prenatal visits in Muscatine weekly, and that as opportunities to bring in new providers arise, she will share them with the community.
As the mother of four young children growing up in Muscatine, Pohl believes the city has a bright future, and through the work of community leaders will blossom in a place that young people will want to return to as they grow up. “I think the best is yet to come in a lot of areas, and healthcare is one of them,” she reflected. As the Director of UnityPoint Trinity Muscatine Hospital, she feels privileged and humbled to participate in making that vision a reality.