Western South Dakota's Only Ranch Station
Pam Locken Horizon Health

Long-time rural healthcare advocate to be honored

ISABEL, S.D.  – Long-time healthcare champion Pam Locken will be honored at the 2024 Cowboys Care Bull Bash July 13 in Isabel, South Dakota.

Pam Locken devoted her career to healthcare in rural South Dakota.  She started as a Project Director at the Isabel Community Clinic in the 1980s. Her position included billing, receptionist and grant writing duties. Medical Receptionist and Billing Associate for Isabel Community Clinic in the 1980s, before moving into the position of CEO. Over the years, clinics in Eagle Butte, Faith, McIntosh, and Bison were acquired by the Isabel Clinic to form Prairie Community Health under Pam’s leadership.

As CEO of the organization, Pam was an active member of her State Primary Care Association, Community Healthcare Association of the Dakotas (CHAD), her Regional Primary Care Association, and the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), serving on their boards and executive committees. Locken has been recognized numerous times for her achievements including the 2012 CHAMPS Exceptional Administrative Leadership Award, the 2013 Stanley J Brasher Legacy Award, and the 2015 Region 8 CHAMPS Legacy Award.

She served on the SD Governors Infant Mortality Task Force from 2011-2014, the South Dakota Dental Care Mobile Advisory Council from 2000 to 2015, the National Rural Health Association from 1989-1991, where she was also a member of its Frontier Task Force, and the 3 Rivers Mental Health/Chemical Dependency Center.

Pam was also a founding member of Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS) 37 years ago, serving as President from 2002-2006.

In January 2016, after 36 years of service, Pam retired from her position as CEO of Prairie Community Health, which led to the merger of Horizon Health Care and Prairie Community Health.

Pam was one of the founding members of the Horizon Health Foundation, serving as Secretary from 2016 until resigning from the board of directors in 2022.

“Pam is a remarkable person,” Tracy Pardy, Executive Director of the Horizon Health Foundation said. “Her life’s work was to ensure rural and frontier communities had access to quality healthcare for patients in their communities. As a founding member of the Horizon Health Foundation, she worked alongside us to create a vision of raising $25M so we can be here for our kids and grandkids.”

Currently, Pam resides in Lead, SD.

The 2024 Cowboys Care Bull Bash is a fundraiser hosted by Horizon Health Foundation to help keep access to care close to home for clinics in Isabel, Bison, McIntosh, Eagle Butte, and Faith. Set for July 13, 2024 in Isabel, gates open at 4:00p.m. (MT). The event includes a steak dinner, mutton bustin’, calcutta, bull riding, and live music. Transportation buses to and from the event will run from clinic communities from 3:00p.m. to 1:00a.m. with numerous pick-ups and drop-offs to insure a fun and safe time for family and friends.

Tickets are available at the gate. See more information and ticket prices here.

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