Dr. Keith Hansen Named Dr. Karl Wegner Chair in Medicine

Sept. 30, 2014 was a festive and momentous day, as physicians and members of the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine community gathered to pay tribute to Keith Hansen, M.D., the first-ever recipient of an endowed chair at the SSOM.

USD President James W. Abbott spoke at the event to honor Hansen.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Keith Hansen at the medical school,” said President Abbott. “He represents the best of health care and medical education. The medical school, the community and our state benefit from his skill and service.”

Dr. Hansen, a reproductive endocrinologist in Sioux Falls and longtime faculty member at the medical school, is chair of the medical school’s OB/GYN department.

Hansen, from Wall, S.D., received his medical training at Washington University, St. Louis, Mo., and subsequently practiced and held faculty appointments at medical institutions in Virginia, Georgia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. During that time he served 10 years in the U.S. Navy. In 1998, he returned to South Dakota to practice medicine and teach at the medical school. Prior to becoming chair of the OB/GYN department, Dr. Hansen served in a variety of significant roles at the medical center.

The endowment to create the Karl H. Wegner, M.D., Chair in Medicine position was established by the late Dr. Karl H. Wegner with the support of his wife, Margaret Cash Wegner. Karl Wegner taught at the medical school starting in 1962 and became dean of the school in 1974, a position he remained in until 1980. He also served as chief of pathology at Sioux Valley Hospital, now Sanford Health. He died in April 2014.

This story originally appeared in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of South Dakotan M.D. magazine. Read the full issue.