LAGRANGE — It was easy, even at a young age, for Jordi Disler to see herself in a health care career.

It was harder to imagine how far it would take her.

Growing up in Fort Wayne in a family of health care providers, Disler said she knew she wanted to become a nurse by junior high school or even earlier.

Today, she serves as president of Parkview LaGrange Hospital, leading its 250 employees.

“It’s a testament to nursing when you can start out as an ICU nurse in the mid-’90s and end up being an administrator of a hospital,” Disler said. “I would have laughed at you if you would have told me that’s what I would have done when I was 20-something and a nurse at the bedside.”

Even as a grade-school student, Disler found herself drawn to classmates who needed an extra boost.

“My love of helping others turned into an opportunity for a career,” she said. She studied at Marian College at Indianapolis, then began her nursing career at St. Joseph and Lutheran hospitals in Fort Wayne.

While working as an emergency room and intensive care unit nurse, she took an opportunity to move into wound care at St. Joseph Hospital. Then she filled an open position for a wound care manager.

“I got into management and found that I really enjoyed that,” she said. “Helping employees and coworkers to their jobs better was what led me into management.”

Disler joined Parkview Health in 2001 to help open its north campus, which would grow into the sprawling Parkview Regional Medical Center.

“How often in your career will you be able to build a hospital?” Disler asked about her first experiences at Parkview.

“With the support of Parkview and the development of wonderful coworkers and leaders that had a lot of confidence in me to move and advance, you end up in places you never would have dreamed you could be,” she said.

In her first decade with Parkview, Disler served six years as clinical manager of orthopedic patient care and then four years as director of nursing and patient services for Parkview Ortho Hospital.

Disler earned a master’s degree at Indiana University-Purdue University in Fort Wayne, and when the position of vice president at Parkview LaGrange became available, that represented the next logical step in her advancement.

Arriving in LaGrange to interview for her next job, “I just felt like I was coming home when I walked in the front door,” she said. With a welcoming staff and community, “I knew this could be a wonderful place to work and to make an impact.”

Disler served as vice president of patient care services at Parkview LaGrange for five years and moved up when the position of president became open in 2016.

Today, she said, “Most of what I do is to work on helping represent LaGrange County at the system level and develop our leadership team and our employees so they can provide extraordinary care for our community.

“There’s a lot of collaboration that I feel I’ve helped facilitate. … bringing together leaders throughout the entire community to promote health and wellness.”

Parkview LaGrange offers programs in diabetes education and suicide prevention. Its Life Bridge program helps senior citizens adapt to the ever-changing stressors of life in the senior years.

“Most recently, it’s, ‘How do we safely meet the needs throughout this pandemic?’” Disler said.

As a full-service hospital, Parkview LaGrange offers 25 inpatient beds, an eight-bed emergency room, full surgical suites and procedure rooms, all essential radiology equipment, cardiac rehabiltation, physical and occupational therapy, family birthing center, several negative-pressure rooms for meeting the needs of COVID-19 patients.

“We want this to be an extraordinary place to work and to receive care,” Disler said.

Disler credits the local community for supporting her and the hospital, and she returns the favor. She serves on the boards of Farmers State Bank and the LaGrange County Economic Development Corp. and is actively involved with the chamber of commerce and community foundation.

“We are working with several groups to discuss child care needs in the community, to discuss housing needs in the community,” she said. “How do we better make LaGrange County a great place to live, work and play?”

When she’s not on the job, Disler enjoys traveling and being outside in nature with her husband, Chris, who owns a business in Fort Wayne. She loves reading and walking her dog, a Norwegian elkhound named Loki.

Disler also supports Youth For Christ in Allen and LaGrange counties and the Mustard Seed in Fort Wayne

She gives credit for her career success to her entire team.

“I can’t do what I do without such wonderful people supporting us,” she said. “They provide wonderful care to this community.”

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