Dr. George Mangulis selected as S.D. Family Doctor of the Year

Dr. George J. Mangulis of Philip Health Services has been selected as the 2005 South Dakota Family Doctor of the Year.

The honor was officially bestowed upon him at a South Dakota Academy of Family Physicians’ gathering in Spearfish on February 4. Their President’s Reception was held in conjunction with their Winter Seminar, which provides continuing education for Family Medicine Physicians and other health care providers.

The American Academy of Family Physicians is one of the largest national medical organizations. It represents more than 93,000 family physicians, family medicine residents, and medical students nationwide. There are almost 500 such South Dakota members.

Dr. Mangulis will now be a contender for the National Family Doctor of the Year. The national meeting will be held in Washington, DC, in September of 2006. The American AFP has not yet had a national winner from South Dakota, however there has been at least one if not more who have been in the final five.

Dr. Mangulis stated that he was most honored because his nomination and selection for this title came from his peers. The criteria for selection as Family Doctor of the Year demand that a nominee must be:

•actively engaged as a family physician in South Dakota, a majority of which time must have been in active practice.

•certified and hold a current recertification certificate from the American Board of Family Practice.

•of good moral quality and standing, and hold an unrestricted license to practice medicine in South Dakota. Nominee must be an active member of at least one hospital staff.

•an active member of the SDAFP for at least 15 years.

The award presentation stated:

This years recipient of the SD FDOY award is a very deserving physician, Dr. George Mangulis.

He has lived in and served his community of Philip for over 50 years. Thirty of those years he was the only physician in town.

He was born in Latvia and as a Latvian medical student he was conscripted into the German Army where he served a medical unit from 1943-45 with his friend Paul Dzintars, who also eventually came to South Dakota.

When he arrived in the United States in the early 50’s as a displaced person, he had already earned his medical degree from a German university. To receive a license in South Dakota, he had to repeat a one year internship at an approved hospital, pass basic science exams and medical boards and agree to practice in a rural setting for 4 years.

He spent two years working at a state mental hospital in Hastings, NE, then completed an internship at Sioux Valley in Sioux Falls before settling in Philip with his wife and children.

He was lured to the prairie community by it’s promise to build a hospital for him. Nine months after he arrived the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital opened.

At 82, Dr. Mangulis still works four days a week, seeing patients and making rounds at the local clinic and hospital. He now takes Friday’s off and no longer takes call at night. He quit delivering babies around 15 years ago and estimates he helped bring more than 1,000 babies into the world. Some of those babies grew up to work for Dr. Mangulis.

His first wife Ilga passed away in 1969. Today Mangulis is married to renown violinist Rasma Lielmane, also a Latvian native.

Dr. Mangulis is loved by his community and staff and recently they had a celebration to honor his 50 years of service to the Philip community. Today, we, his colleagues, honor him with this award. Dr. George Mangulis, 2005 Family Doctor of the Year!

Previous winners of the SDAFP Family Doctor of the Year are:

2004 David Brechtelsbauer - Sioux Falls

2003 Clark Likness - Watertown

2001 Daniel Heinemann - Canton

2000 Tony Berg - Winner

1999 Stephan D. Schroeder - Miller

1998 Allen E. Nord - Rapid City

1997 J.D. Collins - Mobridge

1996 Thomas J. Huber - Pierre

1995 Richard A. Wake - Brookings

1994 Herbert A. Saloum - Tynedall

1993 Michael J. Brown - Spearfish

1992 Lawrence W. Finney - Sioux Falls

1990 Jerry L. Walton - Sioux Falls

1989 Loren H. Amundson - Sioux Falls

1988 Verlynn V. Volin - Sioux Falls

1987 John J. Stransky - Watertown

1986 G. Robert Bell - DeSmet

1985 Bruce C. Lushbough - Brookings

Founded in 1947, the AAFP’s mission has been to preserve and promote the science and art of family medicine and to ensure high-quality, cost-effective health care for patients of all ages. Its vision is to transform health care to achieve optimal health for everyone.