Hutchinson Regional Medical Center honored Stanley (Stan) Kjellberg today, dedicating in his memory the Outpatient Occupational Therapy Unit. Stan, a long-time employee of the hospital, died of COVID one year ago this week.
A permanent plaque now hangs at the entrance of the unit, which is on the third floor. The inscription tells the story of a beloved and revered employee. “Stan made a lasting impact on his patients and coworkers as a certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System for over 23 years. Stan’s greatest loves were his Lord and his family.” Also inscribed is the last message he sent his wife before passing away: “The Lord has each of us each step of the way. I trust him 100%.” Stan’s wife Lisa and their two sons, Nicholas and Andrew, attended the dedication.
Stan, a 1976 graduate of Ness City High School, attended Northwest Kansas Technical College. In 1995, he earned an associate degree at Barton County Community College as an Occupational Therapy Assistant. Following graduation, he worked for one year in Parsons before accepting a position with the Occupational Therapy Unit at Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, where he served patients for the remainder of his lifetime.
Those who knew and worked with Stan at Hutchinson Regional said he touched the lives of hundreds of coworkers and patients, especially older populations. Stan had a special gift for treating patients each as unique people, and he possessed a loving, caring relationship with his work family.
Lori Harnett, Director of Rehab Services and Wound Care at Hutchinson Regional said Stan had a way of connecting with his patients and forming relationships that lasted beyond the therapy session. “He loved the stories that his patients told him while doing their therapy,” Hartnett said. “Stan had a way about him that made people feel comfortable opening up and sharing and he became a friend to everyone that knew him. We all miss Stan’s smile, his kind words, and his friendship.”
Ken Johnson, President and CEO of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System, said Stan Kjellberg was a role model, inspiration and mentor to those he worked with. “Stan had a phenomenal bedside manner and he inspired a generation of patients that short term pain always results in long term gain when it comes to rehab and recovery,” Johnson said. “Stan’s professionalism and positive attitude made Hutchinson Regional and the Rehab Team better.”
Hutchinson Regional Medical Center is an entity of Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System. Other entities are Horizons Mental Health Center, Hospice & HomeCare of Reno County, Health-E-Quip and Hutchinson Regional Medical Foundation.