Ali LaGrange knew at an early age that she had a passion for healthcare. Her brother was in a terrible vehicle accident and sustained a brain trauma injury that required an extended recovery period. She was able to witness the multidisciplinary teamwork of nurses and healthcare clinicians that impacted his recovery and in turn her future career in healthcare.
As a nurse practitioner for Virginia Gay Hospital’s Vinton Family Medical Clinic, Ali is one of 13 ICR Iowa All-Stars selected by the ICR Iowa Industry Sector Board. Awards recognize leadership skills, work accomplishments and commitment to their careers. Honorees represent 18-35 year-olds in diverse career fields across a variety of industries and are selected from nominees in the Iowa City-Cedar Rapids region that also includes Benton County.
In high school, Ali elected to take a health careers class offered through a partnership between Kirkwood Community College and the Vinton Shellsburg Community School District. The class allowed her to be a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) and work part-time at Virginia Gay Nursing & Rehab while in high school. It was those experiences that prompted her to attend nursing school at the University of Iowa’s College of Nursing. After completing her four-year degree, she began working in the pediatric intensive care unit at the University of Iowa.
She and her husband, Dan, chose to move to Washington State where she worked as a charge nursing in a pediatric surgical unit and also spent time working in other areas including the postpartum, neonatal intensive care and medical/surgical/rehab units. That combination of experiences led her to complete a Masters program in Family Nursing at Georgetown and earn an ARNP degree.
Ali and Dan decided to move back “home” to Iowa and to the community they both grew up in. Ali wanted to provide care in a rural community and a position as a nurse practitioner at the Vinton Family Medical Clinic offered that opportunity. She has been employed with VGH for the last three and a half years providing acute and primary care services.
“When Ali joined us, her role was seeing any clinic patients that needed same day appointments for their illnesses or injuries. That role was crucial to our clinic system so that we could provide care to all patients calling in,” states Melissa Macku, RN, Director of Clinic Operations. “We quickly realized that our community embraced Ali in position as an ARNP. Patients wanted to see her for more than just their illnesses. They wanted Ali to be their primary care provider, so the transition was made to open up her schedule and allow her to build her practice.”
She has also taken on a significant leadership role as the Provider Champion for Virginia Gay Hospital’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO). According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) are groups of doctors, hospitals, and other healthcare providers, who come together voluntarily to give high-quality coordinated care to their Medicare patients. To be successful in an ACO, the Provider Champion has to be fully engaged in these duties and lead all of the providers in achieving the goals of the ACO and Ali has worked very hard to ensure our success with the ACO.
Virginia Gay Health Care Foundation Director, Robin Martin said, “We congratulate Ali on this achievement. She is detailed in her work and is a tremendous patient advocate. She is willing to dig in deeper and take the time to care for patients in their time of need. She is genuine, kind and a great asset to Virginia Gay Hospital and Clinics.”
To learn more about the ICR Iowa All-Stars, visit bit.ly/vgh_allstar_2018.