PRINCETON — Pat Schou, executive director of Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network (ICAHN), was Thursday’s keynote speaker for the seventh annual Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon held at The Cider Mill in rural Princeton.
Schou was among the first honorees selected as a Woman of Distinction in 2013. She has more than 40 years of clinical and rural hospital administrative experience. She is also executive director of the Illinois Rural Community Care Organization and is president-elect of the National Rural Health Association, where she has held several positions.
Schou has earned several recognition awards throughout her career. She is also an active member of the Princeton community, having volunteered for a wide-array of organizations throughout the years.
Schou recognized the journeys of each of this year’s Women of Distinction. Their journeys all included love, happiness, success, challenges, disappointments and dreams.
“Today we recognize the achievements and contributions of each of these women to their respected communities,” she said.
“Each woman here is an inspiration and made a difference not only for their local communities, but also for many, many individuals they’ve touched throughout the years.”
In her speech Thursday, Schou shared her list of special characteristics that define a Woman of Distinction. Her "Five P's" are as follows:
• Person: Who are you as a person? Are you a hard worker? Are you ethical? Do you have integrity? Are you dependable and kind? What about your values and experience? What sets you a part from others?
• Partners: Who are those special people in your life who’ve influenced you and the actions you’ve taken or the decisions you’ve made?
"No one can do it alone,” Schou said. “We need people in our lives. … Successful people build relationships and honor those relationships and value friends and family who have supported them.”
• Potential: What are your dreams and expectations? Do you settle or strive to do better the next time? What are your capabilities? Are you willing to take a risk?
• Perseverance: Do you have that stamina? Do you have that grit? Can you deal with disappointment? Are you able to stay on target and get things done? Can you go across that finish line?
• Passion: What do you believe in? What do you care about? What makes you, you? Do you have energy and excitement about your work or your project? Do you live and breath it? Can you go that extra mile?