VNA leader earns Executive of the Year distinction
By David Sharos For The Beacon-News July 25, 2013 7:28PM
Linnea Windel, president and CEO of VNA Health Care has been named West Suburban Philanthropic Networks Non-Profit Executive of the Year
Updated: August 27, 2013 6:06AM
Providing health care to underinsured and uninsured men, women and children is a vital service, particularly in light of the current economic situation that has left many unemployed and without benefits.
One woman leading this front in the Aurora area is Linnea Windel, president and CEO of the Visiting Nurses Association Health Care. During her tenure there since 1999, the VNA has grown significantly, adding new sites and programs in addition to more than quadrupling the annual operating budget.
As a result of her efforts, Windel has been named West Suburban Philanthropic Network’s Nonprofit Executive of the Year. The 49-year-old executive described the award as “a wonderful one that represents the work of thousands of people.”
“We’re celebrating our 95th anniversary this year as an organization, and this is all about the thousands of people that have worked here, our volunteer board, and all the decades of work that have built this organization,” Windel said.
Windel earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Illinois Wesleyan University and her master’s degree in nursing from Aurora University. She is also the recipient of the Aurora YWCA Women of Distinction award and the Aurora University George Peters Community Partnership Award.
In addition, Windel is a board member of the Visiting Nurse Associations of America, a national association that supports, promotes and advances nonprofit providers of home and community-based health care, hospice and health promotion services. She also serves as a member of the Aurora University Nursing Advisory Council, the Kane County Public Health Advisory Board, and the DuPage Health Coalition Board.
Courtney Simek, who co-chaired the awards luncheon for the West Suburban Philanthropic Network where Windel was recognized, said there were nine people nominated this year in the Executive of the Year category and that the selection committee felt “there was a clear-cut winner.”
“Based on Linnea’s credentials and what she’s done, the choice was obvious,” Simek said. “Her leadership style stood out, and the nomination letter we received from her board of directors was beautifully written.”
Windel said the high water mark of her accomplishments would be her leadership in getting the VNA to obtain its Federally Qualified Health Center designation, which has allowed the VNA to expand.
“As of June 30, the end of our fiscal year, we saw 50,000 non-duplicated patients at our seven facilities, and we’ve also learned we have been ranked in the top 25 percent of the 1,200 FQHC facilities in the country,” she said.
“We were in the top 25 percent of seven of the 11 quality indicators that are used. We are proud to have offered such high-quality health care to so many who otherwise wouldn’t have it.”