2009 Friends Recipient
Pioneer Memorial Hospital & Health Services
Danish Festival Days 2009 kicked off with the 16th Annual Leadership Luncheon hosted by Pioneer Memorial Hospital and Health Services. Paul Christensen, Danish Day co-chair welcomed all in attendance. Business and Organization Leaders from the community are invited to participate in this event. Special guests were recognized: Ben Ready from Senator John Thunes’ Office, new VFW Commander, David Kelly and Dr. and Mrs. Juhl of Viborg Denmark. The highlight of the Leadership Luncheon is the presentation of the Friends of Viborg Award. Past Award Recipients are: 2003 – Dr. Carlos & Elinor Kemper Family; 2004 – Cena & Charles Jorgensen Glood Family; 2005 – Robert & Ethel Ward Family; 2006 – Employees & Board Members of the Scandinavian Coop Creamery; 2007 – past and current owners and employees of the Lund Theatre; 2008 – current & past members of the Viborg Volunteer Fire Department.
Danish Days Committee Member Dawn Koenig and Co-Chair Julie Hartmann presented the plaque honoring the Current and Past Employees and Board Members of Pioneer Memorial Hospital and Health Services to Georgia Pokorney, CEO and Melanie Parsons, President of PMH Board of Directors.
Georgia Pokorney introduced the current Pioneer Memorial Hospital and Health Services Board of Directors and expressed her appreciation to them. She described them as a tremendous leadership group. Georgia stated, “five decades ago in Sept of 1959 a dream for Viborg became a reality due to the diligent efforts of Dr. Carlos Kemper, his staff and the community. “ Many changes to the facility and in technology have taken place in the last 50 years. Mrs. Pokorney gave a brief overview of the major changes within the past 50 years. In 1990 and 1992 the Pioneer Memorial network expanded when the Parker and Centerville satellite rural health clinics joined the organization. In 1991 Pioneer Memorial partnered with what is now Sanford Health under a management services agreement but they continue to operation as an independent organization. In 1998 Pioneer Memorial Hospital changed it’s name from Pioneer Memorial Hospital to Pioneer Memorial Hospital and Health Services to reflect the offering of total health care. The current strategic goals of Pioneer Memorial are 1) create a Pioneer Memorial Foundation, 2) expand our development/fundraising activities, 3) upgrade our Information Technology systems and 4) build a new Centerville Community Pharmacy. Mrs. Pokorney updated the group on how these goals are currently being accomplished. She ended by saying “much has changed since 1959 but it is the hard work and caring of our employees that never changes.” She also thanked the Danish Day’s Committee for their hard work and efforts.
Board President Melanie Parsons also spoke on behalf of Pioneer Memorial. The theme of her speech was “lucky, lucky, lucky”. “We are lucky here because we had people in the community that had the foresight and the fortitude to come together 50 years ago and put up this facility. There was no money. The people didn’t have any professional fundraising experience, they weren’t planners, they weren’t developers and having a hospital in Viborg seemed like something that they just couldn’t do. But lucky, lucky, lucky, us – we happen to live in a community where people believe that they can do the impossible. Through all the efforts, great and small, that first dream became a reality.” She talked about through the years with the addition of services Pioneer has developed into the system we have today. She also talked about the changes and trends in healthcare.