Lions learn about local health care

Lions learn about local health care President Barbara Campbell opened the Jan. 20 evening meeting of the Vermillion Lions Club and initially allowed time for the introduction of three Vermillion guests � Lion Maryln Harnois introduced Maxine Johnson, Lion Curt Robinson introduced Dick Elstrom, and Lion David Stockland introduced Dick Stensaas.

Lion Curtis Schempp announced that February and March are the two months designated for new membership recruitment and passed around a list of potential new members to possibly invite to future meetings.

Barbara mentioned an article in the January 2005 South Dakota Lion relating that the Lions Clubs International Foundation had awarded $470,000 in grants to Lions in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand for tsunami relief efforts. In addition, Lions worldwide are participating in the relief efforts in South Asia countries.

Other announcements from the president were a Lions Zone meeting in Elk Point, Feb. 21 at the American Legion facility, the sale of Lions Cookbooks at the Nook 'n Cranny until Valentine's Day, Member Appreciation Day at the Clay-Union facility on Feb. 10, the 85th birthday of Helen Manley, and the speaker for the next meeting (Feb. 3) will be Lion Jacqueline Lonning whose avocation is clowning.

Mary Merrigan, director of public affairs, Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center (SVVMC) was introduced by Lion Allen Johnson, and she in turn introduced the two health officials speaking at the Jan. 20 meeting: Tim Tracey, CEO, SVVMC, and Mike Begeman, office of public affairs, Sioux Valley Hospital USD Medical Center, Sioux Falls. Tracey emphasized that the goal of the SVVMC is to create a better system of care, which includes in part the belief that patient care should be furnished close to the patient's home.

This better system of care becomes possible when the different affiliations work together as is the case with the Dakota Hospital Association and Foundation and the Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health System (SVHHS). Begeman pointed out that the SVHHS network is large and includes towns in South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa and Minnesota.

He also noted that advanced technology will make possible in the near future a better billing process. One is left with the impression from the presentations of Tracey and Begeman that an integrated system is indeed providing an enhanced level of patient care.

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