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Mengenhausen honored for lifetime dedication to community health centers

Sep 21, 2022 | Newsroom

(Howard, SD)

John Mengenhausen, retired CEO of Horizon Health Care, was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Community Health Institute and Expo.

Pictured (left to right): Horizon Health Care COO Kendra Newbold, CFO Melissa Hofer, CEO Wade Erickson, retired CEO John Mengenhausen, and Medical Director and provider at Howard Community Health Center Misty Rudebusch.

The event was organized by the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), which was founded in 1971 to promote efficient, high quality, comprehensive health care that is accessible, culturally and linguistically competent, community directed, and patient centered for all. It represents 1,400 community health centers across the country that serve over 30 million patients annually.

The NACHC honored past chairmen of its board of directors during the Institute held in Chicago August 26-27. Mengenhausen served as Horizon Health Care CEO for 38 years. He grew the organization from two clinics and a staff of 14 to the organization’s current footprint of 32 medical and dental clinics in 22 communities across the state. Nearly 300 people now work at Horizon.

“This well-deserved recognition is a culmination of John’s lifelong dedication to improving the health and wellness of not only South Dakotans but people across the entire country,” said Horizon CEO Wade Erickson. “He is a true pioneer in the health center movement and his legacy will have an eternal impact on future generations and their ability to access healthcare close to home.”

Mengenhausen also served on the board of the Community HealthCare Association of the Dakotas and numerous other boards and committees dedicated to access to rural health care. He told the Mitchell Daily Republic prior to retiring that he felt South Dakota’s health centers needed to have their perspective heard.

“I knew that if my face wasn’t at the table, we weren’t going to get that shot,” Mengenhausen said.

For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care 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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