By Carl Vaagenes, CEO of Alomere Health

As someone who only lived here for only 10 years I’m extremely grateful to call Alexandria home for so many reasons.

Less than a decade ago, Alexandria was ranked one of the Top 10 best small towns by Liveability.com, a website that ranks quality of life and travel amenities of small and mid-size communities. Additionally, Alexandria became only the 75th community, and first rural community, in the nation to receive recognition as an age-friendly community by AARP and the World Health Organization, and has twice been named the best rural community to retire in Minnesota.

Achieving this recognition doesn’t happen without the vision, commitment and generosity of volunteers, community organizations, and the businesses working together to strive to make our community the best. There are many criteria that make recognition such as this possible, not the least of which is healthcare. As a healthcare organization serving you, we take our mission to improve the health and wellbeing of the community seriously, but we also work hard every day to assure we are meeting and exceeding national standards for quality, safety and excellence.

For decades, Alomere Health has built a regional and national reputation for quality and excellence. From being named a top 100 Hospitals in the Nation by Thomson Reuters in 2002 and 2008 to being recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a High Performing Hospital for total joint procedures, Alomere Health is continually striving for excellence to earn the trust and confidence of those we have the privilege of serving. This is exemplified by many recent awards for quality and safety such as those listed below:

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  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) 5-Star designation for quality.

  • The Chartis Group Top 100 Rural and Community Hospitals in the nation for the fourth year in a row.

  • Healthgrades Patient Safety Excellence for Top 5% in the nation for patient safety.

  • Healthgrades 5-Star excellence rating for Spinal Fusion Surgery.

  • Echo Press Best of the Lakes honors for Best Medical Clinic – Alexandria Clinic; Best Physical Rehab – Heartland Orthopedic Specialists; Best Physician – Dr. Dan Kryder; and Best Hearing Clinic – Lakes E.N.T. and Hearing Clinic.

These are very humbling and meaningful awards that reflect the hard work and dedication that the entire team at Alomere Health demonstrates day in and day out. These awards don’t just “happen.” Recognition like these are the result of an entire organization living and breathing their core values of Accountability, Compassion, Excellence, Hospitality, and Integrity. These awards come at the cost of long shifts, overnights, missed holidays and milestones. These awards also represent the joys of healing and being healed, and earning the trust of a patient over a lifetime of care.

The Alexandria area is represented by a diverse marketplace covering various industries which have also been the recipients of countless awards. Whether it is the robust manufacturing industry, the revitalized and vibrant downtown, the outstanding public education system or the impressive number of independently owned and operated restaurants, we are fortunate to be a part of the Alexandria community and many area industries that have been recognized for excellence and a great place to live. And what does that mean to someone looking at the Alexandria area seeing all of the recognition it has received and continues to receive? It’s better here.

Carl Vaagenes is the CEO of Alomere Health in Alexandria. In the Know is a rotating column written by community leaders from the Douglas County area.