Viborg healthcare provider celebrating 60 years

Local News

VIBORG, S.D. (KELO) — A top employer in Turner County is marking a big milestone this weekend.

Pioneer Memorial Hospital and Health Services is celebrating 60 years.

Some of the biggest moments in Betty Rist’s life have happened at Pioneer Memorial.

It’s where all three of her children were born.

“So we’ve been at the Viborg hospital quite often,” Resident Betty Rist said.

Now, she spends all of her days at Pioneer Memorial.

Rist is a resident in the health system’s assisted living program, which is under the same roof as the hospital.

“Like when my daughter came the first time she saw it she was like, ‘Mother, it’s just like being in college.’ I said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t have to study,'” Rist said.

Instead, you can often find her knitting afghans.

“Somebody said, ‘What are you going to do when you get done with it?’ I said, ‘I don’t know,’” Rist said.

“It means so much to a family to be able to have someone you know taking care of a loved one when you need them the most,” Board of Directors Chairwoman Melanie Parsons said.

Melanie Parsons is the chairwoman of the board of directors.

She says the health system has had to keep up with an evolving industry since it opened in 1959.

“There have been so many changes to how healthcare is delivered, what the expectations are, what you need for equipment you need to be able to serve those people and, of course, medical equipment is not inexpensive,” Parsons said.

But Pioneer Memorial is still locally-owned, which she says is an advantage.

“It gives us the ability to tailor-make our health care to our community,” Parsons said.

That includes community members like Rist.

“This is home,” Rist said.

While, Pioneer Memorial is privately-owned, it is managed by Sanford Health.

There is a 60th anniversary celebration coming up on Sunday at the Viborg Community Center.

It runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

There will be food, music, a silent auction and more.

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