Patrick Whalen is a financial planner with Northwestern Mutual. He and his wife live in Manheim Township, where they raised three children. He is serving his third term as an LG Health board member.
What's your connection to the Lancaster area?
I grew up in West Virginia and moved to Lancaster County in 1981, as the result of a job transfer. I met my wife here, we raised our family and put down roots.
What is your motivation/inspiration for serving on the Board of Trustees?
I was first asked to serve on the LG Health Foundation board, and then I transitioned to the LG Hospital board and LG Health board. My initial motivation was simply to give back to the community and to help with my time, talent and treasure. My inspiration for continuing to serve comes from seeing the quality and dedication of everyone at LG Health. They are true professionals who inspire me.
What do you believe are the biggest issues in health care for our region?
I believe mental health is the biggest issue we face, because it is at the root of so many other health and societal problems. I am thrilled that we have opened the new Lancaster Behavioral Health Hospital and that mental health is finally moving into the mainstream. If we can better address people’s mental health needs, I think we can make real progress on other issues, like addiction, family issues and overall community health.
What's been your biggest surprise in serving on the LG Health board?
When I first joined the board, I didn't know anything about health care. Seeing the breadth of the organization and efficiency of LG Health has been amazing, considering such a complex and diverse business. I also chair the board's Quality Committee and am continually impressed by everything we do to improve our quality and efficiency.
What about LG Health are you most proud of?
Our commitment to quality, the outcomes it produces and the recognition we receive for it. The advancement of our care is really world-class, and our affiliation with Penn Medicine has only made us stronger in that regard.
If you could change one thing about how health care is provided, what would that be?
Health care is the one thing people buy that they don't know the cost in advance. This is not just an LG Health issue but across the entire industry. We have got to do a better job of being transparent about costs. It is a tough challenge.
What do you do for fun?
I love my work and consider that as much fun as anything else I do. But when I am not working, I volunteer, spend time with my family and travel. My wife and I have combined volunteerism and travel through multiple trips to Lourdes, France. We will return for our sixth visit this summer.