CEO DeJong retires - Promises smooth transition at CMH
After a career spanning 50 years, Community Memorial Hospital CEO Terry DeJong has decided the time is right to retire and begin working on his own personal 'bucket list'.
That's the word he
gave the CMH Board of Governors at a special meeting held Wednesday, June 8.
, who came to Redfield in 2003, is originally from the southeastern part of South Dakota.
He joined the Marine Corp after high school and went on to further his education by studying Electrical Engineering.
He would earn a Bachelor of Science in math, finance, and accounting while working full time for a power company.
"Back then they didn't have all the grants, loans, and financial assistance available now.
We had to work to pay as we went," says DeJong
It was during this time that DeJong
saw an ad for the newly established Medicare program seeking auditors.
, whose interest was piqued by the ad, says with a laugh, "I had fully intended to become an Electrical Engineer but this opportunity presented itself and with one thing leading to another, here I am."
DeJong would spend seven years as a Medicare auditor in South Dakota and Western Iowa.
continued to expand the scope of his
professional career starting his
own Medical consulting business while in his
role as Hospital Administrator in Iowa.
would go on to oversee construction of hospital additions in Sac City, Cherokee, Rock Valley and Ida Grove, all located in western Iowa.
During that time, DeJong continued serving his country in the Army Reserves, a second career that has led to 21 overseas tours in places such as Central America, Bosnia, Afghanistan, Korea, Germany and Berlin.
"I've always said I should write a book about my experiences," says DeJong
"Maybe this will be the right time to do that."
Just before coming to Redfield, in time to oversee construction of the clinic expansion and remodel of the existing clinic, DeJong would be mobilized again as a result of 9/11.
plan upon arriving at Redfield was to do some master planning at the completion of the project and determine what the future would hold.
The following years would determine the necessity of expansion and remodeling of the current hospital facility as well as construction of a new area.
It would also bring a final mobilization for DeJong to Afghanistan in the midst of it.
military status now?
"I am United States Armed Forces retired."
wife, who have three sons, time has been a precious commodity.
would like to change with his
retirement as he
makes plans to just slow down.
"I want to have time to do the things I enjoy that I haven't been able to get to so much in the past," said DeJong
who hopes to spend more time with family, working on rebuilding his
old cars, and woodworking, as well as filling his
role on the various historical societies and boards he
is a part of.