The COVID-19 vaccine is here for our health care workers!

Kayla Mehlhaf, CNP at Viborg Medical Clinic, was one of the first employees at Pioneer Memorial Hospital & Health Services to receive her vaccination on Dec. 23rd. In receiving the vaccine Kayla stated, "Getting the vaccine will help protect those around me, especially my patients who are at high risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Unfortunately, I was ill with COVID about one month ago and, although I developed antibodies, it is unsure how long that immunity will last. Getting the vaccine now will hopefully help keep me healthy & able to continue working and providing care to my patients who need me."

Ginny Anderson, Director of Laboratory Services, also received her vaccine last week. In regards to choosing to get the vaccine, she said, "For me, I have an underlying condition & work directly with patients. With the pandemic raging, it’s important that we all do everything we can to try to slow the spread of the disease.”

“The vaccine offered a little bit of hope & reassurance that we’re getting closer to the end of this. It is nice to see the end of the tunnel hopefully soon approaching,” Lindsey Hauger, CEO at Pioneer Memorial commented.

Sharon Jacobsen, Director of Nursing at Pioneer Memorial said, “It’s been a long, rough year for a lot of people in health care. Not just as being a health care worker, but also for us personally because we’re missing family members. There’s a lot of people we haven’t been able to see. Our residents are getting to see their families some now. So hopefully we are turning the corner and getting to the point of feeling like we are getting back to normal again.”

Pioneer Memorial has worked with the SD Department of Health for several months in preparation of the vaccine. Last week they vaccinated 61 of their staff, and will continue dispersing the vaccine throughout this week for the remainder of the health care workers.

No doses are available for the public at this time. As doses become available, the next phase will be to vaccinate our long-term care residents. After that, additional Phase 1 subgroups will be given the opportunity to receive the vaccine, including other healthcare workers, first responders, individuals with underlying medical conditions, teachers, & critical infrastructure workers. Phase 2 of the Dept. of Health’s plan will make vaccines widely available to the general public. Depending on the vaccine supply, the Dept. of Health hopes to initiate Phase 2 in April or May. While the vaccine is great news in our COVID fight, we cannot give up on the basics – wear your mask, wash your hands, & social distance!

As we end 2020, we reflect on how blessed we are with a compassionate team of hardworking individuals who care for our patients and communities. We thank the communities we serve for your efforts to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Our heart goes out to those in our community who have suffered pain and loss due to this disease, particularly those who have lost loved ones.

Contact Numbers


p. 605.326.5161

Senior Care

p. 605.326.5190

Centerville Medical Clinic

p. 605.563.2411
f. 605.563.2060

Parker Medical Clinic

p. 605.297.3888
f. 605.297.3974

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