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J-Hawk Foundations

J-Hawk Foundations: 2013-2014 Year in Review

J-Hawk Foundations:  2013-2014 Year in Review


August 28, 2013 Introductory Session

Recap:  This session was geared toward hooking students’ hearts for the overall J-Hawk Foundations experience. The primary content introduced the idea of the “Secret Ingredient,”—that intangible element that allows the greatest individuals and organizations to maximize their potential for excellence, while doing so in a state of mindfulness and gratitude.

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Foundations Session 1: September 11, 2013: Putting Integrity Into Action

Recap:  This session introduced the idea of integrity as “wholeness”—as a person with both moral and performance character.  Students studied the Dewey Bozella story as an example of one man’s commitment to preserving his integrity at great personal cost. The Integrity in Action Checklist was introduced as a guide for thinking and action—especially for times when the choices are complex and the pressure is high.

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Foundations Session 2:  September 18, 2013:  Dr. Matt Davidson, President and Director of Education at the Institute for Excellence and Ethics

Recap:  Dr. Matt Davidson returned to follow up on Putting Integrity Into Action.

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Foundations Session 3: October 16, 2013:  Learning to Grow and Let go

Recap:  This session introduced the idea of learning to manage stress by developing a “growth mindset.”  In athletics, school, and all aspects of life there we experience countless challenges, setbacks, and failures.  If we have the right mindset, we learn and grow from the challenges life presents; if we do not we are often plagued by stress, doubt and despair. The ability to grow and let go is essential.  Students were introduced to the Grow and Let Go tool and take a Grow and Let Go Self-Study. 

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Foundations Session 4:  October 23, 2013:  David Stark, President and COO of Blank Children's Hospital & Executive Vice President of UnityPoint Health-Des Moines

Recap:  Mr. Stark returned this past year to Iowa after a brief period where he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Chicago.  He returned to Iowa to serve as President and COO of Blank Children’s Hospital and Executive Vice President of UnityPoint Health-Des Moines.  Prior to leaving for Chicago, he served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Iowa Methodist Medical Center, a 674-bed tertiary center and Iowa Lutheran Hospital, a 465-bed acute care facility.  He joined the UnityPoint Health-Des Moines System (previously Iowa Health) in 1996 and is a life-long Iowan.  He received his M.A. from the University of Iowa and B.B.A. from Iowa State University.

Professionally, Mr. Stark is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives and recently received the 2008 national Robert S. Hudgens Memorial Award for a Young Healthcare Executive.  He serves as President, Orthopedic Outpatient Surgical Center, Member, Partners in Health Advisory Board; Member Iowa Health System Contracting Services, LLC Board.  In his civic and community service, he is a 2000 graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, Member of Iowa State University College of Business Management & Marketing Council;  Member of Rotary; Member, Iowa Hospital Association, Council on Member Services; Member, Iowa Regents Advisory Council; Chair, Iowa Association of Health Leaders; and Member, Board of Directors, First American Bank.

He resides in Johnston with his wife Becky, three daughters, Kira, Ainsley, Marin and son, Cael.  

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Foundations Session 5:  January 15, 2014: Attitude & Effort

RecapAttitude plus effort leads to improvement. It’s a simple formula, but not necessarily easy. It asserts of all the things within your control, attitude and effort are two of the most powerful factors leading to growth & improvement.  Attitude and effort are what separates those who maximize their potential from those who do not. This session focused on the drivers and preventers of attitude and effort.

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Foundations Session 6: January 29, 2014: From Goal Setting to Goal Achievement

RecapNo matter what you’re trying to achieve, no matter what challenge you’re trying to overcome, it begins by figuring out your starting point and your desired end goal. Then you need to identify the action steps to get you from your starting point to your end goal, breaking them into small steps. Once the plan is put into action, you must continuously measure and monitor your progress and make changes as needed. You also need to seek out support and challenge from individuals who are able to provide you with expertise, accountability, and encouragement. This session focused on the key elements of the goal achievement process.

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Foundations Session 7: February 13, 2014:  Guest Speaker - Nate Kaeding

RecapNate Kaeding, former Iowa Hawkeye All-American and NFL Pro Bowl kicker, speaks goal setting, goal achievement, and how attitude and effort lead to improvement.

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Foundations Session 8: April 2, 2014: Communication and Leadership

RecapCommunication is an essential part of leadership- motivation, feedback, and empowering others around you. Learning how communication and leadership are inseperable skills, skills that are both art and science when putting them into action.  Core leadership practices and two-way communication highlighted this session.

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Foundations Session 9: April 9, 2014: Guest Speaker- Sandy Hatfield-Clubb

Recap: Drake University Director of Athletics Sandy Hatfield-Clubb wrapped up J-Hawk Foundations for the year with a summary of what to take from all of the Foundations sessions thus far.  Points of emphasis included how to achieve success moving forward and how to deal with failure.

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J-Hawk Foundations is developed and delivered in partnership with The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center (formerly known as Character Counts In Iowa) and the Institute for Excellence & Ethics.

For more information on these organizations, visit: or