FLORENCE, S.C. — McLeod Health Tuesday celebrated the unveiling of a portrait to honor Dr. Sompong Kraikit.
During a portrait unveiling ceremony at the McLeod Medical Plaza, Donna Isgett, President and CEO of McLeod Health, welcomed family members, friends and former colleagues of Kraikit. She explained that McLeod honors the lifetime achievements of role models who have impacted the organization in superlative ways with the commissioning of a portrait.
“Today, we are bestowing the highest honor presented to an individual by our organization – a portrait that will hang in perpetuity along our halls of honor. The purpose of this distinction is to spotlight and memorialize the recipient’s rare qualities of extraordinary service, coupled with significant contributions to better both the organization and his or her community,” said Isgett.
“At McLeod, we are continually seeking to improve – intrinsic in the nature of Dr. Kraikit, who was a part of those processes that advanced our nephrology program and sought to reduce the pain, suffering and discomfort of those who entrust us with their care,” Isgett said. “We are so thankful for the work of Dr. Kraikit, and his colleagues, to provide that medical excellence to this organization and the Pee Dee.”
“These works of art are reminders of how individuals like Dr. Kraikit have fundamentally changed healthcare delivery, improved outcomes for patients and stretched the organization forward as a change agent in their professional field. We are so appreciative for the positive relationships fostered by Dr. Kraikit both within McLeod and in our community as an ambassador for McLeod Health. This is an honor we are proud to make possible for his most generous gifts of time and talent,” said Benjamin T. Zeigler, chairman of the McLeod Health Board of Trustees.
“Specializing in the treatment of kidney disease, diabetes, and other renal concerns requires a physician with a calling to care for some of the sickest patients in healthcare, often requiring both hospitalizations and years of ongoing management of chronic diseases,” said Dr. Dale Lusk, chief medical officer for McLeod Health.
“The CDC reports that more than 20 million Americans have chronic kidney disease, and we in South Carolina have more than our fair share of that population. Dr. Kraikit choosing to practice in our region helped to ensure our friends, neighbors and family had access to care for those serious concerns. His contributions to McLeod and the community continue to make a difference in the education of nurses and physicians in our region,” Lusk said.
“The presentation of this portrait in honor of Dr. Kraikit recognizes the life and work of this selfless man who shattered the glass ceiling as the first physician of far east descent who paved the way for our appreciation for so many others who have followed,” Dr. Alva Whitehead, former vice president and medical staff advisor for McLeod Health, said. “I doubt many, maybe only a very few, have been of such value to our medical staff, nurses and patients as well as Francis Marion University, Florence-Darlington Technical College and indeed the community as Sompong and his wife Suwanee. The good Lord has blessed them and in so doing, blessed all of us.”
McLeod has a long-standing tradition of acknowledging the life-time achievements of its physicians, nurses and leaders. One of the most significant opportunities for recognizing meritorious service and paying tribute to the fine character of these individuals is through the act of commissioning a portrait in their honor by the McLeod Health Board of Trustees. The artist’s rendering of these individuals are placed on permanent display in areas representative of both the location of their service as well as commemorating their expertise in the field.
Tuesday’s event marked the 33rd portrait honoring individuals during the past three decades.
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