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By Cynthia Haggitt
There are many in the medical field that are taught about how a doctor’s bedside manner, general manners, dress, bearing, deportment and conduct are necessary elements of patient care. Experts say this behavior just comes naturally for a practicing physician, and Dr. Randall Voigts can be described as having a soft-spoken bedside manner, precise patient instructions and delivery of necessary health news with compassion. Due to his skills as a doctor and his compassion for medicine, Voigts was awarded the 2021 Rural Physician Lifetime of Service Award for his achievements in practicing medicine on Oct. 28.
“I am honored to nominate Randall Voigts, DO for the 2021 Rural Physician Lifetime of Service Award Committee. Dr. Voigts has dedicated his entire career to serving Greene, Jersey, and Scott Counties. His dedication is illustrated through his service at the Roodhouse RHC; his work with the Greene and Scott County Health Departments, White Hall Nursing and Rehabilitation, and Jersey Community Hospital; and his volunteerism and countless hours of giving back to the community,” JCH Health Care Vice President of Physicians John Giertz said.
Giertz mentioned that Dr. Voigts started out his career in healthcare as a Pharmacist. He moonlighted while attending Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirksville, Missouri, which is now known as Still University. He completed his training and residency in Family Practice with Obstetrics. By his account, he believes he delivered just under a 100 babies. In 2002, he received national recognition as the Runner-up US Country Doctor of the Year. He serves as the Scott County Health Department and White Hall Nursing & Rehab Center Medical Directors. He has served on all committees at JCH throughout his tenure including Chief of Staff.
“Dr. Voigts has dedicated his entire career to serving Greene, Jersey, and Scott Counties. His dedication is illustrated through his service at the Roodhouse RHC; his work with the Greene and Scott County Health Departments, White Hall Nursing & Rehabilitation, and Jersey Community Hospital; and his volunteerism and countless hours of giving back to the community,” Giertz said. “Dr. Voigts has served as the Medical Director for the Roodhouse Rural Health Clinic for thirty-six years. While at the RHC, he has supervised many Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants over that time.”
Voigts has been an adjunct professor of medicine to students and physician assistant students and is a board-certified family physician. In 2013, when Jersey Community Hospital closed the labor and delivery department, he provided obstetric care at Roodhouse. He was responsible for delivering hundreds of babies at JCH.
Voigts works with all his colleagues and staff, nurses and other health personnel, such as pharmacists and lab technicians, to give the best care possible.
Giertz said, “While at the grocery store, a restaurant, at church, or on his doorstep, he never turned away a patient who had a question or medical need. He provided house calls when emergent circumstances arose. He embodies what it means to be a Rural Physician.”
“It is unheard of nowadays for a doctor to make house calls. He treats everyone equally, all his patients. He is a great doctor, an awesome boss and has wonderful family values. I am blessed to know him and to have worked for him,” Roodhouse Clinic Registered Nurse Sharon Sitton said.
Voigts has volunteered and served on the Greene County Health Department for 30 years and on the Scott County Health Department for the last four years. For the past 20 years, he served as the Medical Director for White Hall Nursing and Rehabilitation. Over the years, Voigts has cared for over 90 percent of the patients who reside at the home and has givien his time to help during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Voigts has also served as Chief of Staff at Jersey Community Hospital, and has been very active in the community. When the Boy Scout program fell apart in the North Greene area, Voigts became Scout Master and remained there for years after his youngest son received his Eagle Scout rank.
He helped individuals who needed clothing, housing, or other personal needs. He helped with physical projects involving care of the vulnerable in the community through Helping Hands, which built ramps, cleaned yards, and other community service needs.” Giertz said.
One of his professional dreams came true when his daughter, Megan Skolasinski, PA-C, joined the Roodhouse Clinic in the fall of 2016.
She followed his example and became Physician Assistant. Skolasinski said she loved working with her father.
“It was awesome. He was the one who encouraged me to get into the medical field and it was a dream come true for both of us to work alongside each other for the past five years,” Skolasinski said. “I wouldn’t change a thing and would not have had it any other way. He taught me and mentored me.”
When accepting his award, a statement from Senator Steve McLure was read during the presentation because he was unable to be there that night.
“This is the moment to take this opportunity to congratulate you for receiving the 2021 service award from the Military World Health Organization,” McLure said. “We commend you on your dedication to service. Your hard work and dedication is appreciated and it deserves to be recognized. You have demonstrated that you are an amazing physician who deserves the 2021 Rural Physician Lifetime of Service Award.Thank you for your service.”
Voigts said he is deeply honored to receive this kind of recognition. In his acceptance speech, he thanked his wife, friends, colleagues and family members for supporting him all these years. He said he wouldn’t be where he is today without them and was very grateful to be able to help his patients, mentor students and serve the communities he has.
“I am very privileged and honored to be here. I feel very blessed that JCH Healthcare has reaped our mission with the practice that was started and happy to see it is still going today,” Voigts said. “Since retiring, I have stayed active in my work, but I am looking forward to spending more time with my wife Karen, three children and three granddaughters.”