BVU Adds Strategic Partner in Buena Vista Regional Medical Center

BVU strengthens its partnership with Buena Vista Regional Medical Center through tuition grants and discounts for employees. The Strategic Partnership allows BVRMC to grow its business while benefiting its employees.

Valued partners for years, Buena Vista University and Buena Vista Regional Medical Center (BVRMC) agreed to terms recently within BVU’s new Strategic Partnership initiative, which will enhance both entities while further strengthening the region.

The Strategic Partnerships program is aimed at growing businesses while benefiting employees of partner enterprises, such as BVRMC, as BVU offers grant funding for tuition on the Storm Lake campus to BVRMC employees, spouses, and dependents. Additionally, discounts per credit hour are available to students taking BVU’s convenient online/hybrid undergraduate instruction or the Organizational Leadership graduate program courses.

“We encourage our team to be life-long learners,” says Buena Vista Regional Medical Center CEO Rob Colerick. “This Strategic Partnership allows employees without a bachelor’s degree another avenue to reach their career goals.”

It is yet another feature in a mutually beneficial relationship.

“At BVU, we’re proud to work hand-in-hand with Buena Vista Regional Medical Center as we build our communities in a number of ways. We are thrilled when doctors who are BVU alums come ‘home’ to provide care to our residents.”

Dr. Brian Lenzmeier, Interim President

BVRMC and BVU have partnered on a multitude of projects over the years. The signature program may be the Undergraduate Rural Medicine Education and Development program, or URMED, which was created in 2008 by longtime BVU Professor of Biology Rick Lampe and then BVRMC Foundation Director Brad Strader. The URMED program annually allows BVU pre-medicine students to experience working in a variety of hospital departments prior to applying to medical school.

Currently, Buena Vista Regional Medical Center has five family practice providers who are BVU alumni. Three of those doctors are recent medical school graduates who chose to return to Storm Lake to establish their career while serving a growing community they came to know as BVU students.

The BVU internship program at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center allows real-life experience for students in marketing, human resources, and other departments, while allowing medical center staff members to learn from students on new ways of thinking straight from their classrooms.

“Our organization benefits from learning from the next generation of employees,” Colerick says.

“At BVU, we’re proud to work hand-in-hand with Buena Vista Regional Medical Center as we build our communities in a number of ways,” says BVU Interim President Dr. Brian Lenzmeier, a key figure in the URMED program’s success since its inception in 2008. “We are thrilled when doctors who are BVU alums come ‘home’ to provide care to our residents. Anything BVU can do to help area residents improve their lives, and the lives of their loved ones, is certainly worth pursuing.”

BVU professors and staff members will be made available for training programs, workshops, and more should BVRMC seek those services and expertise within the Strategic Partnerships programming.

Buena Vista Regional Medical Center, which employs 430, provides general medical and surgical care for inpatient, outpatient, and emergency room patients, and participates in Medicare and Medicaid programs. An accredited facility with a 60-year history of improving the health of the people and the communities served, BVRMC has a 10-bed geriatric behavioral health unit, 11 primary care physicians, two nurse practitioners, a radiologist, a general surgeon, and an orthopedic surgeon. BVRMC also has an attached Specialty Clinic with 56 specialists and 23 specialty services.

“BVRMC’s mission is to be the best place for patients to receive care, employees to work, and physicians to provide care,” Colerick adds. “By working with BVU, our hospital is able to attract some of the best doctors and help our employees feel pride in obtaining their educational goals. When you have great doctors plus happy employees, it can only equal the best patient care.”

“We couldn’t be happier about starting another chapter in a great relationship between BVU and Buena Vista Regional Medical Center through an initiative that promises to make our region stronger,” says Katie Smith, BVU Director of Strategic Partnerships.

“As a BVU alum and now a BVRMC employee, I am proud the two institutions can partner to help increase the talent and education of the people working and living in our region,” says Katie Schwint, Executive Director of Community Development at Buena Vista Regional Medical Center and a 1998 graduate of BVU.

For more information on Strategic Partnerships and BVU partner opportunities, please visit or contact Katie Smith at