Health care, community, service and volunteerism come together

SHWV front desk registration area

Dale D. has some things in common with Salem Health. They both value community and service to others. It seems fitting, then, that this Dallas resident was the first patient scheduled for surgery in West Valley Hospital’s remodeled and expanded surgical suite in 2012.

Dale’s strong values stem from a past steeped in education. He taught accounting, management and social studies at Milton College in Wisconsin before moving to Dallas in 1974 with his wife, Lois.

They operated a shelter home for teenagers. Dale spent time appraising real estate and Lois taught second grade. By retirement, Dale had worked for the Oregon Employment Department for more than 17 years, and Lois had been an Oakdale Heights Elementary School reading specialist for more than 20 years.

Recently, Dale tried to move a tree that had fallen in his yard.

“I knew as soon as I did it,” said Dale. “I felt the pop.”

Dale was scheduled for outpatient surgery for a hernia. Because his surgery was scheduled right after the grand opening celebrations for West Valley Hospital’s new surgical suite, he was given a special tour before the operating rooms were open to the public.

“I was impressed with the comfort, flow and design of the new surgical suite,” Dale noted. “As an outpatient, I was not in the hospital long, but the experience was very pleasant and I’m a fan of local community hospitals. It’s great that West Valley Hospital is able to provide so many specialty services to the community here in Dallas.”

The praise is mutual. While Dale commends the hospital for its outpatient procedures and other health care services, hospital staff appreciate patients who are eager to get back to good health.

Getting Dale back on his feet meant that he could resume giving back to the community: volunteering at the local library, food bank, Hunter Arboretum and a high school student exchange program. To get around to his activities, he typically walks or rides his bike.