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Long service to PMHH earns Hemmelgarn state honor

Pictured with Kathy Hemmelgarn, Aging Services of Minnesota Trustee of the Year recipient, is Nancy Stratman (l), Awards Chairperson, and Wayne Olson, Board Chair.

Kathy Hemmelgarn has been presented the Trustee of the Year Award from the state's largest association of older adult services professionals.

Hemmelgarn, who was re-elected by her constituents for a seventh consecutive term to the Perham Memorial Hospital and Home Board of Trustees, received the honor at the Aging Services of Minnesota Institute held earlier this month in Minneapolis.

A key driver in the strategic direction of Perham Memorial Hospital and Home, Hemmelgarn recognized the need for change back in 2001 when the board was deciding whether or not to replace or rebuild the nursing home. The result of that vision has been a new building that supports a new model of resident-directed care that continues to receive state and national recognition. In addition, Hemmelgarn was at the helm of the board when the decision was made to branch out into senior housing and build a 28-market rate housing with services building. She again was chair when the decision was made to start a home care agency.

"Kathy is a trustee who has never been afraid to ask the tough questions and push us to stretch beyond our comfort zone," commented Chuck Hofius, PMHH CEO. "She is a board member who keeps the best interests of our residents and their families at the center of each and every decision. Her heart is very committed to our residents and to the community of Perham."

"She's a strong, smart lady, and she played a huge role about 20 years helping keep the hospital from going under," recalled Chuck Johnson, then editor of the Perham Enterprise Bulletin. "As a board member, she really helped rebuild the confidence in the facility--to the point that the public has a very high level of confidence today."

For over 40 years, Aging Services of Minnesota has earned its reputation as a leader in older adult services. The members of Aging Services represent the complete continuum of care, including care centers, assisted living and senior housing with supportive services, independent senior housing and community-based services.

Perham Memorial Hospital and Home is a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital with an extensive range of inpatient, outpatient, and emergency services, a 96-bed skilled care facility, home care agency, and senior housing facility. Perham Memorial Hospital has been named one of the Top100 Hospitals in the nation.