Olson, Dendinger honored for contributions to health service by Dakota Hospital Association

Olson, Dendinger honored for contributions to health service by Dakota Hospital Association The Dakota Hospital Association & Foundation Builders Club Community Leadership Luncheon on Nov. 1 included special recognition of Dr. Thomas Olson and Dr. William Dendinger as the inaugural recipients of the Community Health Service Award.

This new award, established by the Dakota Hospital Association & Foundation Board of Directors, recognizes individuals for their significant lifetime dedication and noteworthy contributions to community health services.

Both Dr. Dendinger and Dr. Olson have been providing quality health care to the Vermillion community since 1977. During these 25 years, many new accomplishments in health care have been achieved in Vermillion, in particular, the construction of the new hospital.

Dr. Olson and Dr. Dendinger have been instrumental in maintaining and developing new services for the community including obstetrics, surgery, emergency care and rehabilitation and care for senior citizens. Working together with their medical colleagues they have provided care for the whole family close to home.

"It should always be known that Vermillion's new hospital was built as a result of the dedication and perseverance of Dr. Tom Olson and Dr. Bill Dendinger to make sure we had community health care at its best," said John Paulson, CEO, Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center.

At the leadership luncheon, Gene Lunn, president of the Dakota Hospital Association & Foundation Board of Directors, outlined the important partnerships in the community involving Dakota Hospital Association, Sioux Valley Health System and The University of South Dakota. He also emphasized the outreach, community education and wellness services that are fundamental to the achievement of Dakota Hospital & Foundation's mission of improving the community's health and represent a key project for the Association & Foundation's Builders Club.

Lunn also thanked Dr. Dendinger and Dr. Olson for their years of caring for the community and for assisting the Board over the years in important decision making about service and facility developments on the medical center campus.

Dr. Robert Tally, vice president of Health Affairs and dean of The University of South Dakota School of Medicine, gave the keynote address. Dr. Talley reviewed plans for the new Lee Medical Building construction project at USD in Vermillion. He emphasized the importance of the Vermillion campus along with the other campus locations of the USD medical school throughout the state ensuring that quality health care education would be provided.

Dr. Talley complimented the Dakota Hospital Association & Foundation on its assistance in providing facilities for health science programs at the university, including occupational, physical and speech therapy and the physician assistant program.

Dr. Talley thanked Dr. Olson and Dr. Dendinger for serving as faculty for The University of South Dakota School of Medicine and for their great example of the dedicated service of physicians in community practices across the state who also teach for the medical school. Dr. Talley also complimented Dr. Olson and Dr. Dendinger as outstanding alumni of The University of South Dakota School of Medicine and for their years of dedicated service.

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