Gothenburg Health honors Dr. Carol Shackleton with a Retirement Fika

Gothenburg Health honors Dr. Carol Shackleton with a Retirement Fika

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Fika is Swedish word that represents a state of mind and an important part of Swedish culture. While many Swedes consider it essential to make time for fika every day, it is more than “a coffee and cake break.” It cannot be enjoyed at a desk alone because it is important to take time to socialize. It is a pause to refresh the brain and strengthen relationships.

And that is exactly what Dr. Carol Shackleton wants for her retirement from a 38-year medical career. She would like everyone to pause and take time to socialize over not only coffee and Swedish coffeecake, but also over traditional Swedish foods. On Friday, June 24 the community, friends, colleagues and staff are invited to fika with Dr. Shackleton from 4-8 at Gothenburg Health through the YMCA entrance.

Dr. Shackleton began practicing medicine in July of 1984 by joining Gothenburg Medical Arts. She worked with Dr. Craig Bartruff for six years before serving as an emergency physician in North Platte and Grand Island for a total of 11 years.

After a nine month bereavement leave following the death of her second husband, Bob Shackleton, to pancreatic cancer, she returned to the Gothenburg medical community in 2002 by resuming her practice at Gothenburg Medical Arts for four years. In 2006, Dr. Shackleton joined the Gothenburg Family Practice Associates with Dr. David Hult and Dr. Gerald Matzke. She continued practicing there as that clinic was absorbed under Gothenburg Health’s umbrella as Gothenburg Medical Clinic. In 2019 she became the Chief Medical Officer of Gothenburg Health and will retire from this position as of June 30.

Mick Brant, CEO of Gothenburg Health, said that as the chair of the CEO recruitment committee, Dr. Shackleton was one on the first people that he met in Gothenburg.  “I will always appreciate her kind and knowledgeable introduction to Gothenburg during my interview process,” he said. “During Dr. Shackleton’s long tenure with Gothenburg Health, she has provided stability and excellent care for her patients as well as support for the staff and culture.”

Dr. Shackleton has been very flexible over the past few years as the needs have shifted, Brant added. For instance, she served as the physician champion for our Electronic Health Record (EHR) implementation and was instrumental in helping develop Covid-19 protocols. “Dr. Shackleton has always adapted and embraced the ever changing healthcare environment,” he said.

Dr. Shackleton graduated magna cum laude at North Park University in Chicago and attended medical school at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Duluth and Minneapolis. She completed her residency and was Chief Resident at Ravenswood Hospital Medical Center in Chicago.

After her residency Dr. Shackleton noted that she moved with her husband, Paul Severeid, to Brady where he pastored the Svea Dal Covenant Church and she started her medical practice with Dr. Bartruff. She married Bob Shackleton in 1988. Shortly thereafter, they purchased and renovated a cabin on Eagle Lake, lining the main room with pine siding.  Later, after her marriage to Dr. Morris “Fritz” Skinner in 2004, the bedrooms were refurbished with aspen siding, and a full basement was added. She said she takes pride in having done much of the finish work herself, both at the lake cabin and at her house in Gothenburg.

Over the years Dr. Shackleton said she has been a member of Lions Club and Gothenburg Community Playhouse, but much of her spare time has been devoted to the Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Shackleton has been the Clerk of Session of the congregation at First Presbyterian Church of Gothenburg since 2005, according to Pastor David Boyd.  She is an ordained Ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA).  She has had two stints on the Presbytery of Central Nebraska Committee on Ministry, both times serving two terms.  Additionally, he said she has served as the Vice Moderator and Moderator for the Presbytery of Central Nebraska as well as the chair of the Presbytery Council. “She has also been a faithful alto in our church choir for decades,” Boyd said.

As a liaison for many congregations in the Presbytery, Boyd said Dr. Shackleton has served on a special commission for the congregation in Stapleton as they went through dissolution.  She is currently serving on the Committee on Ministry and the Permanent Judicial Commission of the Presbytery of Central Nebraska. 

While Dr. Shackleton has spent her entire medical career serving Gothenburg and surrounding communities, she was born and raised in Dawson, Minn. According to Dr. Shackleton’s only sibling, Kris Cosentino, they were raised on a century farm which was the “tree claim” for their great grandfather’s 1800’s homestead that was expanded as part of the Timber Culture Act of 1873.

Dr. Shackleton went to a one-room schoolhouse through second grade, Cosentino said. When she went to town school in third grade, she began violin lessons, played in the orchestra through college, played the clarinet and oboe in band and sang in the choir. In addition to being busy with music, 4H and youth group, her sister said she could be found driving the riding lawn mower, driving tractor for baling and grain cart and walking the bean fields. She attended Lake Beauty Bible camp in the summers and spent time with cousins on Eagle Lake in Ottertail County, Minn.

A love for camping and travel began for Dr. Shackleton, her sister said, when her parents bought a 13 ft. camper in 1967 and the family attended the 1967 Expo in Montreal, Quebec. With them, she said she traveled to Banff, Lake Louise, Churchill on Hudson Bay, Alaska and more. To date, Dr. Shackleton said she has traveled to 49 states (missing only Delaware), at least 20 countries and four continents.

Dr. Shackleton said she intends to continue traveling while retired and has plans to visit the remaining 3 continents, Delaware and the Maritime Provinces, along with a trip to Italy purchased at the Hospital Foundation Gala this year.  Despite the lure of travel and the Minnesota lake cabin, she said she intends to continue to make Gothenburg her home.