Southeast Missouri Hospital recognizes doctor, CEO at dinner

Friday, April 23, 2010
Retiring obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Scot G. Pringle and former Southeast Missouri Hospital president and CEO James W. Wente were honored for their service at the hospital association's annual dinner meeting Thursday at the Show Me Center. From left are Al Spradling III, chairman, board of trustees; Wente; Pringle; and Debbie Linnes, current president and CEO. (MELISSA MILLER)

Retiring obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Scot G. Pringle and James W. Wente, who previously served as Southeast Missouri Hospital's president and CEO, were recognized for their service at the hospital association's annual dinner meeting Thursday at the Show Me Center.

Pringle, who has been on the Southeast staff for 29 years, received the Hospital's Special Service Award. Wente received the Outstanding Service Award in recognition of his leadership.

"It's been a great ride," said Pringle, who will retire in July. "I have enjoyed almost every minute of it. I am proud to have been a part of all of those babies."

During his medical career in Cape Girardeau he welcomed more than 10,000 babies into the world and founded the medical practice now known as Women First in Cape Girardeau.

Pringle served on the hospital board of trustees, a position he has held since 2000. He also served previously as medical staff president.

Southeast Missouri Hospital was presented with the HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award and the Outstanding Patient Experience Award at the hospital association's annual dinner Thursday. Debbie Linnes and Al Spradling III, at right, represent Southeast by accepting the awards from members of the HealthGrades staff. (MELISSA MILLER)

Early next year, Pringle and his wife, Tyronza, will leave for New Guinea, where he will serve for four months as the only obstetrics and gynecology specialist at the Nazarene mission hospital at Kudjup in the highlands of Papua, New Guinea. He attends First Church of the Nazarene.

In addition to receiving the Outstanding Service Award, Wente was also honored by having a hospital facility named after him.

A historic home on Broadway adjacent to the hospital campus will be named James W. Wente Manor. It's owned by Southeast and used for meetings and other special gatherings.

Wente served as president and CEO of Southeast for 18 years. Before assuming the top post in 1991, he served as assistant administrator for more than decade.

"It's a very humbling experience," Wente said after receiving his award. "I want to thank the board of trustees, many of whom have passed away, for letting me be a part of this."

Wente added his replacement, Debbie Linnes, has a tough job ahead in addressing the effect of government health care reform.

He guided the hospital through major construction projects, including HealthPoint Plaza, Southeast Medical Plaza, a $16 million bed modernization project, as well as renovations and expansions of obstetrics, pediatrics, surgery and emergency services.

During Thursday's event the hospital received two awards from HealthGrades, the nation's leading independe health care ratings organization. Southeast was given the HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award and the Outstanding Patient Experience Award.

The hospital association also conducted its annual business meeting, welcoming new trustee Steve Green to its board. Green joins re-elected members Dr. Michael Bennett, John Grimm, David Hahs, Chris Hutson, Ben Lewis, Frank Kinder and Paul Sander. Serving as officers are chairman of the board Al Spradling III, first vice chairman John Thompson and secretary/treasurer Robert G. Neff.

A plaque was presented to Jim Limbaugh, executive vice president of planning and business development, in recognition of his previous service as hospital board chairman from April through September 2009 before accepting his current position. Dr. Gregg Hallman was honored as immediate past president of the medical staff organization. New officers of the medical staff are Dr. Kevin A. Vaught, president; Dr. W. Ray Silliman, president-elect; and Dr. D. Matt Shoemaker, secretary.

Over the past 12 months, 19 new physicians have joined Southeast's medical staff.

Construction continues on Southeast's new $33 million Regional Cancer Center on the west side of Cape Girardeau, near Interstate 55, which is scheduled to open in early 2011.

mmiller@semissourian.com

388-3646

Pertinent Addresses:

1333 N. Sprigg St., Cape Girardeau

1701 Lacey St., Cape Girardeau

Map of pertinent addresses

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