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Pawnee County Memorial Hospital


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Pawnee County Medical Foundation

Fall 2021

Dear Friends,

We are nearing the end of another year. Healthcare has continued to be at the forefront of the pandemic, with many adjustments required for patients and caregivers. Our most critical resource continues to be our staff. The Pawnee County Medical Foundation (Foundation) remains an avenue for ensuring that patient needs are met.  Through the communities’ generous donations, the Foundation is able to support recruitment of physicians, continuing education for staff in managing educational expenses, and capital projects.

So, before the calendar turns, I want to take a few moments to share some of the highlights of the Foundation’s contributions to healthcare in Pawnee County this past year.

It was with the Foundation’s support Pawnee County Memorial Hospital was able to acquire a retail pharmacy formerly known as Pete’s Pharmacy.  This makes us able to serve our community in additional areas of need.  Sadly, Larry “Pete” Vonderfecht passed away in October 2021.  We are thankful for all he did for our community and for the memorials donated to the Foundation in his honor.  He will be greatly missed.

Recruitment for medical professionals is very difficult in rural America today, particularly in small towns, so we feel very fortunate and blessed to have such a talented team ready to serve our communities. The Foundation’s support for recruitment has been key to the efforts of engaging new professionals to work in Pawnee County. We are happy to report that Heidi Kohake recently joined our team as our retail pharmacist in charge of our newly acquired pharmacy. Dr. Kent Niss has completed his first year at PCMH and we were able to hire his wife, Katie Niss as our hospital pharmacist.  We are looking forward to Dr. Abby Hanzlicek joining the practice in 2023.

The Foundation Board also provides support for ensuring we have other highly qualified staff to provide essential services to our patients. Three existing hospital employees received financial assistance to attend school or funds towards reducing their student debt.

The hospital owned Pawnee County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) continues to be a consistent focus for the Foundation. The Foundation provides funds to support the training of new Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) and the acquisition of equipment to support best practice as they provide emergency care throughout Pawnee County.  Most recently the Foundation purchased a cardiac monitor for the Table Rock ambulance.

The Foundation purchased the Cleary House property in 2021.  The uninhabitable house was demolished, and the lot cleaned up with future plans for that property yet to be determined.  The Jiggle Butt Run, a local running event also supports the Foundation by providing funds for Women’s and Children’s health.  

We receive many contributions from individuals, often at a time of personal loss. We are humbled by the generosity of friends and family as they honor their loved ones by supporting the local healthcare services through the Foundation.

The Foundation has created its own circle of life. Pawnee County Memorial Hospital benefits from the generous donations received through the Foundation, our community then receives high quality local health care, and the Foundation thrives because of generous donations from its many benefactors.

We want to thank you for your generous gifts of money and property, large and small, and ask you to consider supporting the efforts of Pawnee County Memorial Hospital as we begin a new year. All gifts are important and may be tax deductible, so please consider contributing to The Pawnee County Medical Foundation.

We wish you the best in the upcoming holiday season and thank you for your on-going support of Pawnee County healthcare services.


John Werner – CEO Pawnee County Memorial Hospital & Rural Health Clinic


Foundation Board Members:

Kent Niss                                           Carol Schaardt

Jim Kubik                                           Jan Buchholz

Gary Farwell                                       Jackie Hippen