Dr. George Rounds receives Lifetime Achievement Award

6/29/2017 12:00:00 AM CENTRAL
Updated: 7/6/2017 4:31:23 PM CENTRAL
For more information, contact Angela Kleffman.

Dr. George Rounds receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Dr. George Rounds (l), chair of the Bigfork Valley Board of Directors; Aaron Saude, CEO of Bigfork Valley

Dr. George Rounds has received a Rural Health Lifetime Achievement Award from the Minnesota Rural Health Association. Awarded at the MRHA annual convention in Duluth on June 20, the award recognizes a person who has “made a lasting or significant contribution to improving rural health” over their career.

Dr. Rounds came to Bigfork just out of residency in 1975 with the expectation that he would share a practice with an experienced doctor who would mentor him as he grew into his profession.  Instead, he soon faced the choice of being the only doctor covering a large area on call 24/7.  He chose to stay.

And that decision to stay and keep health care available in the area, said colleague Dr. Heidi Korstad, was the foundation to the healthy, thriving medical campus that is in Bigfork today.

As new doctors came to Bigfork, Dr. Rounds became the mentor.  “He taught us all to be family doctors, “ said Korstad, “He was an amazing practice doctor,” she said, “recruiting and inspiring others to go into health care.”

“Dr. Rounds is truly the epitome of the rural family physician,” said Nancy Probst, chief nursing officer at Bigfork Valley who has worked with him throughout her career. “ In a place where your patients are also your friends, neighbors and family, Dr. Rounds was consistently an advocate for providing the best care possible.  In situations where he felt patient outcomes could be improved, he worked to implement changes that would positively affect care – particularly education for nurses and physicians.”

In 1984 his practice merged with a Federally Qualified Health Center, Scenic Rivers Health Services. That designation allowed the practice to offer a sliding scale cost of services.

In 2012 Dr. Rounds retired from a 37 year career at SRHS and holding the position of Chief of Staff at Bigfork Valley Hospital.  He returned to the hospital when the residents of Stokes Township elected him to the hospital district board.  Today he serves as chair of that board.

“We are very thankful that Dr. Rounds chose to move his family to Bigfork and devote his career to serving our area,” said Aaron Saude, CEO of Bigfork Valley.  “We are proud that he has been recognized with this award for devoting his life to ensuring access to quality health care for rural residents.”