Hospital CEO Celebrated for Civic Leadership
For his quarter-century-and-counting service to the Arlington community, Virginia Hospital Center president and CEO Jim Cole was honored with the 2019 Community Service Award by the Kiwan-is Club of Arlington.
Cole’s leadership has created a “feeling that each and every [hospital] employee is truly dedicated, and treats you with re-spect and compassion,” said Tom Parker, chair of the community-service commit-tee, during the Sept. 18 presentation.
Parker said Cole was being honored, in part, because of his low-key yet hands-on approach to leadership.
“He is not one to toot his own horn,” Parker said, but “he has led [Virginia Hospital Center] to be one of America’s top 100 hospitals three years in a row.”Cole said he appreciated being hon-ored by the Kiwanis Club, which has a focus on serving youth.“It’s more than an honor, [given] the work you have done for children around the world and especially in our commu-nity,” he said.Collaboration between the hospital and the service organization dates back 75 years – in 1944, the year what was then known as Arlington Hospital opened, the Kiwanis Club of Arlington provided the funds for a refrigeration system for the hospital’s blood bank.More recently, the club has supported the Arlington Pediatric Center, an out-reach effort of the hospital providing medical services to at-risk youth.“Kiwanis steps up – you somehow always know what’s needed,” said Betsy Frantz, president of the Virginia Hospital Center Foundation and a previous recipi-ent of the community-service award for her work heading up the Leadership Cen-ter for Excellence.Frantz said Cole was a deserving recip-ient of the award, having set a tone from his leadership position.“Jim has created a culture of kindness, and it permeates every single corner of the hospital,” she said.The hospital has embarked on a three-year, $250 million expansion plan that will bring new outpatient facilities to a parcel just north of the existing campus along North George Mason Drive.Cole, who several years ago was in-ducted into the Arlington Business Hall of Fame, also was saluted for his service in the community. He opted to keep his remarks brief, recalling the advice that those receiving accolades should just say “thank you” and be pretty.(“I’m doing the best I can,” he dead-panned of the latter.)