One of the driving forces behind the Avera Heart Hospital of South Dakota is being inducted in to the South Dakota Hall of Fame in a couple of weeks. Here's more on why Jon Soderholm is considered my many on his team to be the heart of the Heart Hospital.
Jon Soderholm is the man of the hour. Co-workers, family, friends and former patients came to the Avera Heart Hospital on the evening of August 29th for a reception thrown in his honor. The President and CEO has been selected as a 2009 Inductee in to the South Dakota Hall of Fame. Jon has been in the health care industry for more than 40 years. He is credited for playing a key role in financing, designing, building and organizing the 55-bed cardiovascular specialty hospital that opened in March of 2001. He also gets kudos everywhere you turn for being a good and decent man who cares about this hospital and the people inside it, both patients and staff.
Director of Radiology Beth Weber says, "Jon is very personable. He takes a special interest in the employees. He takes extra time every day to seek somebody out and ask how their day is going, how their family is. If he knows you have a pet, he'll ask you about them too."
Cardiac Cath. Lab Director Chris Wendt says, "He is a good boss because he has a passion for what he does. He gives you respect and we all respect him for that. He is very honest and he's here for one reason and that is to make this a better place."
Even if Jon weren't at the evening reception, he'd probably still be at the hospital. He works 7 days a week. In the rare instances when he's not here, he's with other three loves (his dogs, hunting and his family and not necessarily in that order).
We'll start with his 4 Springer Spaniels, Gus the puppy, Shorty, Jack, and Sinner.
That leads to Jon's love for hunting. The dogs go with him when he's hunting birds, but he also thrives on the challenge of archery. He has traveled the world hunting big game.
Jon laughs, "One of the reasons I work is so I can afford to hunt."
And Jon says if it weren't for the support of his wife Pam he couldn't do what he does: to lead a group of gifted individuals who, as a team, take care of people often in the grip of death.
Jon says, "Our people are so good at going the extra mile for families and patients having a very tough time in their lives. We get to be part of people's lives, the good part and sometimes the bad part."
The Avera Heart Hospital has been ranked one the Top 100 hospitals in the U.S. and ranked as South Dakota's number one hospital for customer service. That didn't happen by accident and many here say it wouldn't have happened without this man, a man worthy of being called a Hall-of-Famer.
The South Dakota Hall of Fame 2009 Induction Ceremony will be September 11th and 12th in Pierre.