(Feb. 3, 2023) – This past week, I had the opportunity to attend the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas annual banquet. For those who are not familiar with this organization, the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas have honored individuals who have contributed to Kansas, the nation and the world since the early 20th century. One of the organization's early projects was championing a bill before the state legislature providing for an appropriation to improve John Brown Park in Osawatomie. The organization has since been involved in a number of projects including designing a state service flag in honor of Kansas natives who served in World War I, and erecting a monument honoring pioneer women.
Each year, on the eve of Kansas Day, the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas host an annual banquet to announce the Kansan of the Year. This award is presented to distinguished Kansans for their dedication and service. Previous recipients of the Kansan of the Year include Bob Dole, Pat Roberts, Stan Herd, Fred Bramlage and Lynette Woodard. For the first time ever, the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas decided not to recognize an individual, but the entire Kansas health care industry. An excerpt from the announcement stated …
"There is no way we can ever adequately thank our brave health care workers for their countless hours and sacrifice since the early spring of 2020. We take this moment to mark their work on behalf of a grateful state, and to recognize administrators, hospitals, clinics, physicians, physician assistants, pharmacists, nurses, technicians and many others in the health care industry who served on the front lines of the pandemic."
As part of the recognition, the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas created a video presentation highlighting many health care professionals, including Larry Van Der Wege, administrator, Lindsborg Community Hospital, and Cindy Samuelson, KHA senior vice president, member and public relations. I encourage you to view and share the video presentation with your team members. Besides the video presentation, KHA also was presented with a Governor's Proclamation announcing the members of the Kansas Hospital Association as the recipient of the "2022 Kansan of the Year." KHA Board Chair Carrie Saia, CEO, Holton Community Hospital, accepted the Governor's Proclamation on behalf of Kansas hospitals.
The recognition by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas is much appreciated … especially in today's tumultuous environment. The opportunity to have Kansas hospitals recognized for their dedication, compassionate service and outstanding care is heartening. Let us at KHA be one of the first to congratulate you on being named the "2022 Kansan of the Year!" Thank you for all you do for your community and the state of Kansas.