Tom Dean is a retired family physician who grew up on a farm west of Wessington Springs, South Dakota. He graduated from Wessington Springs High School, Carleton College in Minnesota and medical school in Rochester, New York. He completed a family medicine residency at the University of Washington in Seattle. He returned to Wessington Springs to practice in 1978 along with his wife, Kathy, a certified nurse midwife. He retired after 43 years of practice and still lives in Wessington Springs.
Over the last 15 years, approximately 150 rural hospitals have closed nationwide. What does it mean? Are these facilities obsolete, no longer needed? Maybe in a few places, but in the vast majority of communities they provide critically important services. In most rural communities, the hospital has multiple roles and is the cornerstone for health […]