Roseland hospital elects first female board chair

Comments:  | Leave A Comment

An 85 year-old hospital on the far South Side recently elected its first Black, female board chair as it prepares to rebuild itself.

An 85 year-old hospital on the far South Side recently elected its first Black, female board chair as it prepares to rebuild itself.

Dian Powell, 64, a West Pullman resident since 1971, previously served as a board member for Roseland Community Hospital for eight years before being elected chair this year.

“I was born to be a community worker,” Powell told the Defender. “I love working for the community which is probably why I went into social work.”

The retired social worker sits on boards for several other non-profit organizations but her first passion is health care.

“To know that we provide a vital service to the community that makes me feel good. I come to Roseland Hospital myself when I need health care because I believe in leading by example,” Powell said.

Roseland Community Hospital, a non-profit health care facility founded in 1924, has 162 beds and has been a pillar in the Roseland community for 84 years, said Leonardo D. Gilbert, a minister and community activist in Roseland. Its emergency room serves some 30,000 patients annually, the hospital reports.

RCH, 45 W. 111th St., opened a new $5 million emergency room in May and now is preparing to build a new hospital in the next five years, according to Powell, who heads the hospital’s 15-member board.

“The time to build a bigger and more state-of-the art facility has come,” she explained. “Over the next three years the board will study whether it’s more feasible to raze the current building and build from the ground up or gut out the existing building and renovate it.”

Most of RCH’s patients are Black and do not have health insurance.

“We provide $20 million a year in free health care to uninsured patients,” Powell added. “Funding is always a challenge for health care providers especially those who serve urban communities. But we have committed ourselves to helping this community so we will continue to provide services to all who walk through our doors.”

Powell said she was born to be a community worker.

“I chair the Board of Trustees at New Life Christian Ministries of Greater Chicago and at Dorothy Sutton-Branch Head Start,” she said. “I also served three terms as president of the Chicago chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers.”

Powell earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Roosevelt University and a master’s in social work from the University of Illinois’ Jane Addams School of Social Work.

“To know that we provide a vital service to the community that makes me feel good. I come to Roseland Hospital myself when I need health care because I believe in leading by example.” —Dian Powell

Tags:

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 285 other followers