Remembering a Leader

A trailblazer in local health care, a motivated worker, and a caring mentor — these are just a few ways to describe Evansville native Marjorie Soyugenc, former executive director and CEO of the Welborn Baptist Foundation. Soyugenc passed away from an extended illness on Nov. 28, 2012, yet through her dedicated work she has left an important mark on this city and its people.

Evansville Business featured Soyugenc in “Back Talk” in the October/November 2007 issue. When asked how she stays motivated, Soyugenc replied, “I have never experienced lack of motivation for any work I’ve ever done. I simply believe in what I’m doing.”

This tireless work ethic was how Soyugenc brought so much progress to health care in the Tri-State. Among her many accomplishments while she was president and CEO of the old Welborn Baptist Hospital (1986-1999), Soyugenc is credited with introducing LifeFlight helicopter medical services as well as MRI services to Evansville. Through her work with the Welborn Baptist Foundation (which she headed from 1999-2008), more than 400 grants totaling more than $24 million were awarded primarily to nonprofit health care organizations. Soyugenc also helped grow the foundation’s assets from $90 million to $120 million — an increase which made it the largest private foundation in southwestern Indiana.

Soyugenc devoted time to many worthwhile groups and programs throughout her life. In Southwestern Healthcare’s 2012 Annual Report, she was recognized as a longtime board member and advocate. “She was a visionary leader who broke new ground in many areas during her illustrious career,” the opening letter of the report reads. “Her expertise in administration, mental health, and business management was invaluable to our organizations. [She] will be missed both personally and professionally.”

In the “Back Talk” story, Soyugenc revealed how she always felt she was destined to be a leader, even as a child daydreaming of the Lone Ranger. “I was always on the lead horse of a large group of riders out to address truth, justice, and the American way,” she said. In her own way, by providing vital health care resources and sound advice to the people of this community, she achieved her dream.

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