The Distinguished Service Award for Young Professional Under 40 is awarded to Melissa Gale, CEO of Landmann Jungman Memorial Hospital Avera, in Scotland, South Dakota. Melissa has worked in the Avera Health system for over 11 years. This community-based hospital was named after two long-time doctors, Gustav Landmann, MD and O.A. Jungman, DO. Today Melissa oversees the operation of this 24/7 critical access hospital, which serves the healthcare needs of southeastern South Dakota.
Those who work beside Melissa say she goes above and beyond to advance a healthy community in their rural town. “Before she took the administrator role in our hospital, there were many community concerns about trusting our facility to provide quality healthcare and there was little to no hospital community involvement to promote health in Scotland. Since taking over the leadership role in December of 2016, Melissa has shown all of us an extraordinary level of commitment to improve the health of community.” Jodi Fuerst – Landmann Jungman Memorial Hospital.
Longtime residents of Scotland say that under Melissa’s leadership the facility has seen lots of updates and improvements on everything from, the physical plant, equipment, regulatory compliance, staffing, and economic sustainability. “Melissa has worked tirelessly, including days, nights and weekends and even holidays to improve the quality in our facility and ensure that our community has high quality healthcare.” Jodi Fuerst – Landmann Jungman Memorial Hospital. Melissa also forged partnerships with local organizations, the school district, youth center, EMS and local businesses. Part of Melissa’s goal is to promote health in the community, educate the community on healthcare and in turn use the resident’s feedback to expand and start new quality healthcare services locally. Melissa and her team looked at different ways to better serve the residents healthcare needs, which resulted in increasing sustainable telehealth services. This included: Avel CARE Hospitalist for 24/7 coverage; Avel eCARE Specialty Clinic for specialty care; Avel eCare Behavioral Health services for mental health needs. Melissa was able to increase the use of Avel eCARE Emergency and Avel eCARE Pharmacy to better fit the needs of patients. During the pandemic Melissa also increased the use of virtual clinic visits to allow patients to remain at home. “Melissa has raised money, received grants, and used volunteers to improve the physical plant and equipment. Most importantly she has trained, recruited, and hired new staff while implementing cutting edge models of care, which created a workforce culture that is focused on accountability to each other.” Jodi Fuerst – Landmann Jungman Memorial Hospital. Her team says Melissa was able to refocus the mission of the hospital which is, providing quality health services guided by Christian values.
Melissa leads with a servant attitude, whether for her facility or community. She was elected Scotland Chamber of Commerce President and Scotland Economic Development President, both positions she holds today. Her combined background in agriculture, behavioral health, clinical quality, population health management, community leadership, and business administration have helped her lead innovative programs and high-performance teams in rural healthcare. Congratulations, Melissa Gale for receiving the SDAHO Young Professional Under 40 Distinguished Service Award.
The awards were created to recognize individuals for their exemplary service to health care and accomplishments in advancing the goals and purposes of the Association. Thank you to all of this years recipients for your exceptional contributions made to the healthcare field and the well being of South Dakota communities.