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Horizon Health Care CEO Earns Regional Award

Feb 26, 2021 | Blog

Video courtesy of Community Health Care Association of Mountains/Plains States.

Creating a Legacy in the Health Center Movement

John Mengenhausen, Horizon Health Care Chief Executive Officer, has been named the recipient of the 2020 Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award from the Community Health Association of Mountains/Plains States (CHAMPS).

Mengenhausen was chosen from nominees representing Colorado, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming. Established in 2013, the Stanley J. Brasher Legacy Award honors individuals “who have dedicated their careers to solving the problems of health, poverty and human rights and who have contributed toward the mission and recognition of community and migrant health centers in the Mountain/Plains States.

“I had the opportunity to work closely with Stanley, “Jerry”, as co-founders of CHAMPS and consider him a longtime mentor and friend,” said Mengenhausen. “So it is truly humbling and an honor to receive this award that honors his legacy and commitment to the health center movement.”

In 1983, Mengenhausen assumed the role of CEO of a small South Dakota community health center in two communities with a staff of 14 and a budget of $700,000. Not quite four decades later, Horizon Health Care’s workforce has grown to nearly 300 individuals, serving almost 28,000 South Dakotans in 2019, in 22 communities via 32 medical and dental clinic locations across 28,000 square miles. Under John’s leadership, Horizon Health Care has become one of the most respected rural FQHCs in the nation.

In addition to Mengenhausen’s commitment to his communities, he has been instrumental at the state, regional, and national levels in support of health centers across our country. He has been active in the governance of the Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas (CHAD), of CHAMPS, and of the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC) and he has lent his experience and expertise to countless state, regional, and national boards, committees, workgroups, and taskforces.

“What started as a career nearly forty years ago, evolved into a passion to ensure our rural and underserved communities had access to health care. I am proud of how far we have come and couldn’t continue to achieve our mission every day without my dedicated team and Board of Directors.”

As Mengenhausen prepares for retirement in 2021, CHAMPS also honored his commitment to the health center movement with a newly renamed award in his honor, the CHAMPS John Mengenhausen Presidential Award. Mengenhausen was the founding President of CHAMPS thirty-five years ago and has served on the CHAMPS Executive Committee for many years including as Vice President for six years, as President for six years, and as Immediate Past President for five years.

“John is a steadfast advocate for all patients facing access barriers and for the Community Health Center Movement,” said Julie Hulstein, CHAMPS Executive Director. “He has a heart for community health and the Horizon mission; and he has a strong determination to achieve the goal of affordable health care for all.”

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care, Inc. has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit

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