NUMC honored as Industry of the Year

Staff photo by Clay Schuldt New Ulm Mayor Bob Beussman, left, reads a proclamation as part of celebrating the New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC) as Industry of the Year. At right is NUMC President Toby Freier.

NEW ULM — The New Ulm Area Chamber paid tribute to one of the community’s most important businesses Tuesday night: the New Ulm Medical Center (NUMC). A special banquet dinner was held in honor of NUMC at the New Ulm Event Center.

The NUMC is the first business to receive the New Ulm Industry of the Year award twice. It was given the award 31 years ago, in 1986.

“It goes to show you how important health care is to the community,” NUMC President Toby Freier said.

Freier served as the master of ceremonies for the dinner and gave three reasons for NUMC’s success. He credited the community support, the partnership with Allina Health and the exceptional staff and providers.

Those attending the banquet heard several presentation on the history of the NUMC and its effect on the people of New Ulm.

Jill and Tony Berdan put a human perspective on the medical center in telling the story of their daughter’s losing battle with a debilitating medical condition. The Berdans expressed appreciation for their staff’s endless dedication and support during the worst of times.

Registered nurse Connie Grams talked about the changes she has witnessed in her 45 years with the medical center. Dr. Bryana Andert spoke on the medical field as a whole and how it is more than a business.

Kathleen Backer praised the NUMC as a place where physicians want to work.

Ron Saffert said he continues to serve on the NUMC Board of Trustees because the medical center is one of the most important organization in the region.

And last, Dan Beranek praised the NUMC community work through the Heart of New Ulm project.

Freier closed out the banquet by thanking all those who worked hard to make NUMC a success.

“When I get up in the morning, I never have to wonder whether I am doing good work or not,” Freier said.

NUMC has been recognized nationally for innovation, patient care, patient safety and patient satisfaction. It was named among the top 20 critical-access hospitals in the United States by the National Rural Health Association in 2014, 2015 and 2017.

Chamber of Commerce CEO/President Audra Shaneman said the Industry of the Year is chosen based on economic impact, years of business in New Ulm and involvement in the community.

Few industries have had an economic impact as significant as the NUMC, with over 600 employees and countless patients brought into the community. The NUMC is able to trace its history back to the St. Alexander Hospital in 1883. Staff continue to volunteer their time in the community through health initiatives like the Heart of New Ulm.

As many rural medical centers have gone into decline, the NUMC has grown and expanded. For this reason alone, it deserved the honor of being the New Ulm Industry of the Year, speakers said.


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