How do you go from teaching Advanced Events In World History at a charter school in Austin Texas to being Commandant at the Iowa Veteran’s Home in Marshalltown?
For Iowa native Matt Peterson, the chance to come back home and, as a retired Marine, work with Veterans was too good for him to pass up. With his Mom from Spencer and his Dad an Army doctor from Red Oak, Peterson and his parents got to know Joni Ernst. Peterson says the Senator had been trying to find a way to get him back home.
“She had done some heavy lifting to try and get me back to Iowa and it just didn’t work out, so I went to Texas. She stayed on it and was committed to figuring out something I could do here,” Peterson says. “So, when she called and said ‘would you be interested, I said yes and she said, I’ll let the Governor’s office know and they’ll take it from there.”
With two months at IVH in his rearview mirror, Peterson says the staff couldn’t have done a better job in dealing with the COVID. He says they have conducted over 44-thousand tests and have just recently gone above the 50-positive results level. As far as the possibility of a federal mask mandate being issued for long-term care facilities, Peterson says the bottom line is simple.
“President Biden has expressed his desires and to leverage his desired outcome, he’s got the federal funding that we depend on…about 40 percent of our budget comes from the federal government and that makes if difficult for us to do anything but comply should that order become law,” he says.
Peterson notes he does not have a health care background, but he has a background in leadership. Among the concepts Peterson is already exploring, making sure more Iowa Veterans are aware of what IVH has to offer, having an on-site child care program, adding a canine program for the residents…and installing the biggest flag pole and flag they can find.
(By Ken Huge, KFJB, Marshalltown)