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Dr. Joseph Welty: Dixon’s 2024 Citizen of the Year

One of our own, Dr. Welty, was recognized by Sauk Valley Media and Discover Dixon as the Dixon Citizen of the Year for 2024. This recognition celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to their community, demonstrating outstanding career achievements, community impact, and commitment to the well-being of their fellow residents.

Dr. Welty was nominated by the Chairman of KSB Hospital’s Board of Directors, Dr. David Hellmich, and KSB President and CEO, Dr. David Schreiner.

Dr. Welty’s journey in medicine spans over three decades, leaving an indelible mark on Dixon and its residents. Dr. Welty recently said, “I initially resisted the thought of coming back close to home, having grown up in Amboy, but in the end, it has been one of the greatest rewards I can imagine, having had the opportunity to provide care for people who helped care for me growing up.” His tireless efforts have had a positive impact on countless citizens of our community.

His impact on public health is profound. As a champion of preventive care, he has consistently advocated for healthy lifestyles, early intervention, and community education. His work in managing chronic conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes has improved the quality of life for many.

Dr. Welty’s commitment extends beyond patient care. He actively mentors aspiring healthcare professionals in KSB’s Family Health Center Residency Program, nurturing the next generation of doctors.

His involvement in the community also expands far beyond the hospital walls. Here are some of the ways he has made a difference:

  • Team Physician for Newman Football: For over two decades, Dr. Welty has been a trusted presence on the sidelines, ensuring the health and safety of young athletes. His dedication to their well-being has left an indelible mark on Dixon’s sports community.
  • Youth Sports Concussion Programs: Dr. Welty, a true advocate for youth safety, has successfully implemented concussion protocols for young athletes. His dedication to safeguarding their well-being on the field has earned him immense respect within the community. Thanks to his guidance, Dixon’s sports leagues now operate with greater awareness and precautions.
  • Coaching and Mentoring: Dr. Welty’s influence reaches beyond medicine. As a coach for cross country and track at the Catholic junior high, he inspires young minds to embrace physical activity and healthy lifestyles. His commitment to nurturing future generations of athletes is commendable.
  • Volunteer Work: Dr. Welty’s heart for service shines through his volunteer efforts. Whether serving at St. Pats Loaves and Fishes, lending his voice to the St. Pats Adult Choir, or contributing to the Lee County Health Department, he consistently gives back to the community.
  • Community Leadership: Dr. Welty’s role on the First National Bank in Amboy Board and his involvement with KSB Fighting Hunger and Feeding Wellness demonstrate his commitment to holistic well-being. He understands that health extends beyond medical care—it encompasses access to food, financial stability, and community support.

Although officially retired, Dr. Welty continues to serve his community and KSB Hospital, continuing to serve on our Board of Directors. Patients, colleagues, and neighbors alike know him as a physician who listens, a colleague who collaborates, a friend who cares, and a neighbor who is always there when needed.

Dr. Welty joins Dr. David Schreiner and Nancy Varga, former Citizen of the Year awardees, as KSB team members recognized with this prestigious award.

Congratulations, Dr. Welty, on being Dixon’s newest Citizen of the Year—a title earned through compassion, dedication, and a heart devoted to service.