Dan Lingor, former President and CEO of Mt. Carmel Regional Medical Center (now Ascension Via Christi in Pittsburg, Kan.), died Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020, at the Pittsburg Care & Rehabilitation Center.
Lingor was born in Devils Lake, N.D., on April 20, 1945, to Jean and Clarence Lingor. He was a 1963 graduate of Devils Lake High School and of the University of North Dakota where he earned his BS in Nursing. He went on to the Mayo Clinic to study in the nurse anesthetist program but decided to change directions and graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Iowa with a M.A. in Hospital and Health Administration. It was a decision, he said, he never regretted because he could accomplish more in hospital administration than he could as a clinician.
He served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1969-71 at Minot Air Force Base, in Minot N.D.
He married Elaine Sannes on Oct. 18, 1980. He and Elaine had one son, Christopher, in 1981.
Lingor began his career in health care administration in 1972 as an Assistant Administrator at St. John’s Hospital (now Mercy Hospital) in Joplin Mo. In 1978, he was named CEO of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Dickinson, N.D., serving from 1978 to 1980 and, in 1981 relocated to Mount Vernon, Wash., where he was Assistant Administrator at Skagit Valley Hospital. In 1987, he became the first lay administrator of Mt. Carmel Hospital in Pittsburg where he worked until his retirement in 2006 due to medical reasons.
During his 19 years of leadership in Pittsburg, he led the hospital through difficult financial times for rural hospitals and into a period of growth that transformed Mt. Carmel from a small community hospital into a regional medical center. Its medical staff grew from 58 active and consulting physicians in 1987 to double that in 2006 encompassing a wide range of primary and specialty care providers.
During his tenure, Mt. Carmel was nationally recognized by the American Hospital Association in 1991 as one of the top three hospitals in the nation to respond to changes in healthcare, winning AHA’s Great Comebacks Award. He was featured in Hospital’s magazine; his picture appeared on its cover. In 1999, Lingor and the hospital was again recognized by the AHA with its highest award - the NOVA - for its innovative approach to meeting the needs of the community. The Catholic Health Association went on to recognize Mt. Carmel with its highest award - the Achievement Citation - for its role in establishing the Family Resource Center in Pittsburg.
Lingor guided the hospital through numerous expansion efforts including the development and construction of the Mt. Carmel Regional Cancer Center - the first hospital in Kansas to combine medical and radiation oncology in one location to reduce stress on the patient and better coordinate care - and, the most significant expansion in the hospital’s 103-year history - the $16.5 million renovation and construction of the medical center’s outpatient services center, including the opening of the Mt. Carmel Regional Heart Center. It doubled the “footprint” of the hospital and prepared it for the industry shift to more same-day services and shorter hospital stays. Additional construction achievements included the development of physician offices - Mt. Carmel Medical Plaza I and II which also created a separate space for Outpatient Rehabilitation Services. He was instrumental in the development of Via Christi Village and the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas.
In addition to serving on the Kansas Hospital Association Board, Lingor was an elder in the First Christian Church and was a member of Noon Rotary and spent many weekends riding his Honda through the Four States with a local group of motorcycle enthusiasts. He developed a passion for playing Indian flutes which he said gave him a sense of peace and comfort which he shared with others at local clubs and nursing homes.
Following his retirement, he and Elaine made wonderful memories on trips together to the Mediterranean, the Holy Land, Egypt, Alaska and the Caribbean.
Survivors include his wife, Elaine, of the home; his son, Christopher and his wife, Megan; and grandchildren, Juno and Caleb of Kansas City; and sister, Colleen Nosbusch and her husband, Allan, of Bismarck, N.D.; and three nephews. He is also survived by sisters-in-law, Sharon Eastwood, of Fridley, Minn., Sandi (Paul) Wisness, of Watford City, N.D., Julie (Dennis) Gray, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., and Donna (Gary) Bordner, of Grand Rapids, Minn.; and three nieces and four nephews and their families.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his in-laws, Allen and Florence Sannes; and brother-in-law, Jim Eastwood.
Memorial services were held at the First Christian Church on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020. Condolences may be left at www.bathnaylor.com.
The family suggests memorials to The First Christian Church and/or Alzheimer’s Research.