Hospital Week Profile: Jill LeonardMay 17, 2019
Jill Leonard never envisioned herself working in health care, “It just kind of happened, but once it did I knew I found my place,” said Jill.
Jill studied psychology at Iowa State, and during her freshman year, she met a boy. That boy is her now husband of 23 years, Doug Leonard. “Doug and I knew each other in high school, but never dated. My mom always tells me I had to go clear to Ames to find an Atlantic boy.”
The couple married shortly after they both graduated and then moved to Vermillion, South Dakota, where Doug was planning to attend graduate school to become an audiologist. Jill wasn’t sure she wanted to work in psychology, and she started looking for jobs in Vermillion. “I just wasn’t sure what I wanted in a career yet,” she said.
Once they settled, Jill accepted a position at Sioux Valley Hospital – and this is where her love for healthcare began.
“I worked in home health care and was in charge of the durable medical equipment at what was Sioux Valley Hospital and was there about two years. But, we always knew heading back to Atlantic was the goal.” Upon their return to Atlantic, Jill started working for the Cass County Memorial Hospital Home Care/Hospice, which then became Unity Point at Home. “I knew someone who was working with them at the time and she gave me the inside scoop on an opening.” The Social Worker, Deb Lamb, was in need of an assistant and Jill fit the position perfectly. “Everything just fell into place.” Jill was in the position for about 17 years.
In 2017, Unity Point at Home closed, and Jill saw an opportunity to rejoin the CCHS family. She heard about a position with a new program called Senior Life Solutions and she immediately applied. “I knew I wanted to be back at CCHS, I just love the culture here. It feels like a family.”
Jill is now the Office and Patient Coordinator for the Senior Life Solutions program at Cass County Health System. Senior Life Solutions is a program dedicated to addressing the emotional and behavioral health of adults over the age of 65. “I take care of everything from patient scheduling, to answering phone calls, to escorting patients to their appointments with our therapists.” Jill has definitely found her calling, “I love working with our patients. I think my favorite part is watching the positive changes from when they start the program to when they are ready to move on. It’s amazing every time.”
In her spare time you can usually find Jill at an Atlantic High School athletic event watching one of her two children, Cooper who is a senior, and Reagan a freshman. If they are not rooting for the Trojans, they can be found cheering for the Iowa State Cyclones. “We love cheering on the Cyclones at football and basketball games. We are especially excited for Cooper to head to Iowa State in the fall and follow in our footsteps.”
Jill is also an avid repurposer, especially when it comes to home décor. “Give me a can of spray paint and watch out!” She loves to take something old and make it new again, and is always looking for new ideas on Pinterest.