Well over one hundred community members gathered last month at Weingarten Winery for the fourth annual Parkland Health Center Foundation Celebration.
Highlighting the evening was the presentation of the Joyce Buchheit Excellence in Health Care Award. This prestigious annual award was created in 2016 to recognize an individual who has contributed significantly to the advancement of health care in the region.
The 2019 award was presented posthumously to Dr. Richard C. Winder. His wife, Maxine Winder, accepted the award on his behalf.
Dr. Winder was a very well-known physician in the region. He was born and raised in Bellefontaine, Ohio, then received his higher education at Florida Southern and his medical training at Kansas City University College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Dr. Winder did his internship in Phoenix, Arizona and then completed an externship under Dr. Jack Gallagher at Mineral Area Regional Medical Center in Farmington. While he was offered multiple positions, his experience in Farmington and his connection with Dr. Gallagher would prove to be important factors in his decision to move to Farmington.
When he moved to the Farmington area in 1976, Dr. Winder began a general practice in Park Hills. During this time, he delivered over 2,000 babies, and due to his interest in making sure that uninsured expectant mothers had access to prenatal care, he was instrumental in setting up the women’s clinic for the St. Francois County Health Department. In addition, Dr. Winder saw the need for ambulance services in the county and he was instrumental in establishing the St. Francois County Ambulance District.
Most recently, Dr. Winder served as the medical director of the Mineral Area Regional Medical Center emergency department until his retirement in 2012. During his time at Mineral Area, he was also director of medical education for interns and residents, a program which he started and which enhanced the recruitment of physicians to the area.
In this role, he taught and spent time mentoring the young participants and he was responsible for approving the criteria and the participants’ completion of the program. Dr. Winder’s significant contributions to health care in our region span a thirty-six year career. He passed away in July 2018.
Presenting the award was Jack Marler, director of medical staff services, who had worked closely with Dr. Winder. In addition to Jack’s very personal and warm presentation, a video which paid tribute to Dr. Winder’s life was shown. The video included many photos and facts about his life as well as personal remarks and memories shared by multiple friends and former colleagues of Dr. Winder. Maxine Winder graciously accepted the award, with family members present in support.
“I was very pleased with the evening,” said Debbie Peterson, Parkland Health Center Foundation president. “The atmosphere was great, honoring a wonderful man; the food was amazing; everyone just seemed to be having a great time.”
Earlier in the evening, Peterson expressed her passion for the work that the Foundation has accomplished, citing several stories. She explained, “Recently a patient care grant from the Foundation helped to lease a cardiac life vest for a middle-aged patient with no medical insurance who was treated at Parkland for chest pain.
The patient was discharged wearing the cardiac life vest, and two weeks later he went into cardiac arrest. The vest delivered a lifesaving shock to his heart. Without the financial support from the foundation grant, and therefore without the cardiac life vest, this man would likely have died. He has since received a pacemaker and is doing well.”
In addition to advanced medical equipment and facility enhancements, Peterson informed guests that the foundation also provides multiple nursing scholarships to deserving students. “Since 1998, the Foundation has awarded slightly more than $3 million in various scholarships, programs and projects,” said Peterson.
Joyce Buchheit, the award’s namesake, is a member of the Parkland Health Center Foundation Board of Directors and a past member of both the BJC HealthCare Board of Directors and the Parkland Health Center Board of Directors. Past recipients of this award include Dr. Edward DuMontier (2016), Dr. George Oliver (2017) and Carol L. Coulter, RN (2018).
All four recipients are very well known in the community, and have served the medical needs of this community for a combined total of 165 years (Dr. Dumontier: 1989-2019, 30 years; Dr. Oliver: 1959-2019, 60 years; Carol Coulter: 1979-2018, 39 years; Dr. Winder: 1976-2012, 36 years).
The Parkland Health Center Foundation is a 501(c)3 charitable organization that was established in 2009. Its mission is to secure philanthropic support to enhance Parkland’s ability to provide extraordinary care.
Parkland Health Center is part of BJC HealthCare which also includes St. Louis Children’s Hospital and Barnes-Jewish Hospital, the teaching hospitals for Washington University School of Medicine. For additional information about Parkland Health Center or the Foundation, call 573-756-6451 or visit www.parklandhealthcenter.org.