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After nearly 11,000 deliveries, Dr. Jeff Bendt is set to retire

todayMay 14, 2024 4

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Since 1985, Dr. Jeff Bendt has been delivering babies in South Dakota.

All together, he’s helped welcome close to 11,000 children into the world – more people than live in many South Dakota towns.

But after 39 years, Bendt is ready to step away and fully retire.

A journey that began at the University of Iowa, and led to thousands of deliveries between Pierre and Rapid City, will soon come to an end.

As he gets ready to retire, Obstetrician, Dr. Bendt is thankful for all of the people who have helped make the last 39-years enjoyable.

“Working with different nurses, I’ve been very fortunate here in that the nurses have just been great over the years. They really help you, and it makes your job a lot easier if you have good nursing staff and labor and delivery is one of the best areas for that I feel,” Obstetrician Dr. .Jeff Bendt said.

CRN Jodi Kost has been working with labor and delivery for the past 28 years.

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“I’ve worked with Dr. Bendt my whole career. So we’re pretty blessed in this hospital and this area that he takes such care of the Western side of South Dakota and Wyoming and Nebraska that we’ve seen a lot of babies together,” labor and delivery CRN Jodi Kost said.

With nearly four-decades in the field, Bendt has plenty of stories. One of his favorites involves twins.

“What I remember is at 11:59 p.m. on December 31, I delivered the one baby and the other baby delivered at 12:03 a.m. on January 1. So I actually delivered twins born in different years, and I’ll always remember that.” Dr. Bendt said.

He also has stories about babies who grow up and return to his office so he can deliver their babies.

“My mom got pregnant with me and my twin sister and he delivered us two, along with my baby brother. Then I had my first child three years ago almost and he delivered her. So it’s been a journey,” former patient Rachel Pappas said.

“It’s fun to see the next generation that he’s been able to deliver. And what’s quite ironic is how he can remember that. He’ll be like, oh I delivered that one, and I delivered that one, and now she’s having a baby and how he can remember that is quite remarkable,” Kost said.

The Pappas family is one of several that Dr. Bendt has worked with through multiple generations and it speaks to his work that these families continue to see him.

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“I feel like it shows what type of connection he has with his patients, it shows his care and his dedication towards what he does,” Pappas said.

“It’s going to be a bitter sweet deal here. I’m going to miss coming in and just chatting with the nurses like I used to at the desk. And I’m really going to miss the patients and miss the excitement of doing a delivery,” Dr. Bendt said.

Being an obstetrician wasn’t Brandt’s first career choice. Before he decided to go to medical school, Bendt worked as a pharmacist in Sioux Falls. 

While his career is coming to an end, the memories of the thousands of babies and patients will stay with him forever.

Written by: Badlands Classic Rock

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