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Philip area says “Happy 50th Birthday" Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital”

Head table for the hospital program ... From left: Dr. George Mangulis and his wife Rasma, Rida and Dr. Paul Dzintars, Vivian Minard, Hospital administrator for Philip Health Services Mark Pond, and board member Roger Porch. Not pictured: Mayor John Hart.

People of local renown headed the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital held on Friday, January 6.

Roger Porch, a current hospital board member, was master of ceremonies for the program. His main theme was, “Only that which is invisible is essential.” The vision that became the hospital is really the hospital. The building is visible; though the community support, finances, work, donated time, memories and continued vision for the health services in the area are the truly essential aspects of the hospital.

Philip Mayor John Hart officially proclaimed the day as Hans P. Peterson Memorial Hospital Day. Hart stated that the vision of the hospital was seen and strived for by countless people from the conception of its creation through to today. Perhaps this vision was the Lord’s vision, and everyone else was part of that vision.

Dr. Paul Dzintars, a doctor at the hospital from 1955 to 1957 along with Dr. George Mangulis, also spoke. The hospital was the only reason that he originally came to Philip at that time. Dzintars then discovered the good aspects of the Philip area. He could understand Dr. Mangulis’ love for the community. “It was almost a marriage between the two of them – the hospital and Dr. Mangulis,” said Dzintars.

Dr. George Mangulis, who has already celebrated 50 years as a doctor in Philip, spoke. “I lived through all that, I saw it all,” he said. “I wanted to stay because of the hospital, and some people say the hospital stayed open because of me.”

Dr. Mangulis continued, “It is not the building itself; like a church, it is really the community that makes it what it is, not just a building. This hospital will be the last one in South Dakota, because the people will keep it going and keep it here. We have had a very good relationship between the employees, the administration, the community – the hospital family. I love it here.”

Mark Pond, administrator of Philip Health Services, stated that he had some very big shoes to fill after David Dick left his mark on the position, and on his part of that vision. Pond illustrated his definition of a vision, “You have a good idea of where you are going, but you can’t know for sure. The vision of the hospital, even from the beginning, was just that. And, look where it is today and where it can be tomorrow.”

Of the many people in the audience, one was Carol (Keyser) Hodge, who was a nurse’s aide on the first day the hospital opened.

The program was followed by refreshments and reminiscing.