Originally Published in the Pope County Tribune, May 20, 2019
A medical family practitioner who has served the Glenwood community for more than 37 years, Dr. Jeffrey Schlueter, was honored last week with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce meeting and awards luncheon.
Lifetime Achievement Award
As he accepted the award, Dr. Schlueter said he was reminded of the quote from the Everybody Loves Raymond sitcom when Ray’s father says, “Holy Crap.” He was referring to his 37 and a half years as a physician in the Glenwood community. And he has no plans to retire, yet.
Schlueter said that sometimes things happen because they are well planned and sometimes, “things happen because of fate.”
He told how he was practicing medicine in Chaska, Minn. and he and his wife, Mary Beth, decided to take a weekend getaway at Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria. They had planned a day of outdoor activities, but the next morning it was raining and it looked like it would rain all day.
“So we had to change our plans and we decided to drive to Glenwood to see a good friend, who was a pastor in Glenwood. When they arrived, the pastor wasn’t available, so they decided to take a tour of Glenwood and noticed the Glenwood medical facilities. When he returned to work in Chaska, he picked up a medical publication and read it. On the back page was a want ad for a family practitioner in Glenwood, Minnesota,” he explained.
“I wasn’t looking to leave, but if it hadn’t rained that day, I would not have come to visit Glenwood. And if Pastor Otto had been in town, we wouldn’t have toured Glenwood and if the pastor was available I would not have toured the community and noticed the Glenwood hospital,” he said. “And if I hadn’t read that last page, I wouldn’t have seen the ad for a physician in Glenwood.”
In his time in Glenwood, he talked of the many changes he’s seen but said nothing has changed as much as the medical community has changed.
“When I came here, there was one doctor, Dr. Gordon Lee, and he pretty much held everything together.
“Now, I’m amazed every day with the medical facility. We now have 12 physicians, 11 Physician Assistants and Nurse Practitioners. We have three surgeons and I’ve seen three progressive administrators here and the facility now is ‘unbelievable compared to when we started.'”
He concluded by saying that being a family medical doctor in a rural Minnesota community can mean long hours and lots of weekend work. He said he has delivered between 1,000 and 1,200 babies in that time and “all but two were delivered after midnight.”
“So it does take a lot of time, but I’ve been okay with that because it’s what I do. But it’s my family that is also affected and I want to thank them.” He said the award should not just be for him, but for his family as well, thanking his wife, Mary Beth, and two daughters, Jenna and Heidi. Here’s what they had to say about their dad, Dr. Schlueter.
Additional 2019 Outstanding Award Winners by the Glenwood Lakes Area Chamber
The annual awards luncheon, held at the Minnewaska House last Thursday, also honored Margaret Peterson and the BeKind volunteers as Outstanding Volunteer of the Year; and Jan and David Arneson and Pope County Families in Need received the Outstanding Nonprofit/Service Club of the Year award.
The Outstanding Youth of the Year awards went to Minnewaska Area High School seniors Peyton Kolstoe, son of Eric and Nancy Kolstoe, and Hannah Braaten, daughter of Tracy and John Fadness and Brent Braaten.
To read more about everyone’s well-deserved awards and endeavors, view the complete article until 5/27 at the Pope County Tribune website.