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WEBSITE OF THE STATE OF SOUTH DAKOTA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Doneen Hollingsworth, Secretary of Health
South Dakota Department of Health

125 Years of Health in South Dakota - Health Pioneers

 

Fellow South Dakotans,

     As we celebrate the 125th year of statehood for South Dakota, it is important to reflect on those individuals who, through the decades, have helped make this a great state. At the Department of Health we are particularly interested in noting those who have played key roles in advancing the health of the citizens of our state. In the coming weeks we will be featuring some of those individuals and health milestones on this site. Any such listing will inevitably be incomplete but it is our hope that these brief snapshots will introduce South Dakotans to some of the health pioneers whose efforts have helped create the quality of life we enjoy today.

Doneen Hollingsworth

Secretary of Health

 

Robert Karolevitz

Robert Karolevitz

Writer

1922 -

  • Served as chair of the State Regional Advisory Group for Comprehensive Health Planning

  • Served as a member of the Committee for Medical Advancement in South Dakota

  • Participated actively in getting the four-year medical school at USD

  • Conceived and drafted a major portion of the grant application which resulted in the establishment of the Lewis and Clark Health Education and Service Center in Yankton which serves a 19 county area

 

(Information and Photo Courtesy South Dakota Hall of Fame)


Dr. Geroge Mangulis

Dr. George Mangulis

Medical Doctor

1922 - 2009

  • Served in the Philip community for more than 50 years with 30 of those years being the only doctor in the area

  • Established clinics in several area towns

  • Trained physician assistants in the towns of Murdo and White River

  • Pursued the goal of expanding medical coverage for the entire area

 

(Information and Photo Courtesy South Dakota Hall of Fame)


Dr. George Rinker

Dr. George Rinker

Professor and Administrator

1922 -

  • Graduated with his M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan

  • Helped to develop the University of South Dakota School of Medicine

  • Had a distinguished teaching career at USDSM as a professor of anatomy

  • Became the associate and assistant dean for Student Affairs and associate dean for Basic Science at USD

 

(Information and Photo Courtesy South Dakota Hall of Fame)


Dr. Gerald Tracy

Dr. Gerald Tracy

Medical Doctor

1925 - 2008

  • Served as a long-standing advocate for public health issues in South Dakota

  • Was actively involved in the South Dakota Department of Health’s efforts for tuberculosis control, influenza vaccination, the control of diabetes, and the early detection of breast and cervical cancer

  • Served 40 years as a family physician in Watertown, South Dakota

  • Served as president of the South Dakota Medical Association and medical director of the South Dakota Foundation for Medical Care and the Peer Review Organization for South Dakota

 

(Information and Photo Courtesy South Dakota Hall of Fame)


Dr. F. Wayne Unzicker

Dr. F. Wayne Unzicker

Podiatrist

1926 - 1998

  • Practiced podiatry in the Mitchell area for 40 years, from 1956-1996

  • Known to have provided his patients transportation home after their appointments

  • Took an active interest in his patients and their families

 

 

(Information and Photo Courtesy South Dakota Hall of Fame)


Sr. Colman Coakley

Sr. Colman Coakley

Administrator

1927 -

  • Served as the chief executive of the Presentation Health System for more than 40 years

  • Became the first president of the Presentation Health System when it was formed in 1978

  • Expanded the Presentation Health System from four hospitals to a regional network of 19 hospitals, 15 long-term care facilities, several assisted living and independent living senior apartment complexes, 29 physician clinics, a home care organization, and several other associated services

  • Established the region’s first accredited Clinical Pastoral Education program

  • Served on the McKennan Hospital Board of Trustees for 38 years, serving 18 of those years as chairperson

(Information and Photo Courtesy South Dakota Hall of Fame)


Bill Hustead

 

Dwight “Bill” Hustead

Pharmacist

1927 - 1999

  • Provided the direction to make Wall Drug the largest drug store in the world

  • Helped codify the laws pertaining to pharmacy while serving in the South Dakota Legislature

  • Gave testimony at the Lyman-Jones-Oglala Sioux-West River Rural Water System hearing in Washington, D.C., resulting in the Mni Wiconi Water System in western South Dakota

 

(Information and Photo Courtesy South Dakota Hall of Fame)


Dr. Milton Mutch

Dr. Milton Mutch

Obstetrician

1927 -

  • Founded Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ltd. In 1959

  • Served on the staff of Sioux Valley Hospital for 38 years until retiring in 1998

  • Introduced cutting edge medical technology for women’s health in the Sioux Falls area

  • Honored, along with his wife Ruby, in the naming of the Mutch Women’s Health Center in Sioux Falls

  • Served on the South Dakota Board of Medical Examiners for 16 years

(Information Source: Dr. Milton Mutch; Photo Courtesy Sanford Health)


Dr. Phil Gross

Dr. Phil Gross

Surgeon

1930 -

  • Introduced the total hip replacement operation in South Dakota

  • Accepted as a Fulbright Scholar and worked in Germany

  • Received a Bush Fellowship for the study of Medical Ethics

  • Served on the National Board of Ethics of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons

 

(Information and Photo Courtesy South Dakota Hall of Fame)


Dr. Karl Wegner

Dr. Karl Wegner

Pathologist

1930 - 2014

  • Began his 36-year career at the University of South Dakota School of Medicine in 1962, where he taught pathology

  • Was promoted to the chair of the Department of Pathology, then became dean of the Medical School, and later vice president of USD for health affairs

  • Became chief of pathology at Sioux Valley Hospital

  • Founded the Laboratory of Clinical Medicine in Sioux Falls, in 1962

 

(Information and Photo Courtesy South Dakota Hall of Fame)